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THE MEMOIRS OF 

PHILIP DE COMMINES 

LORD OF ARGENTON 



CONTAINING THE HISTORIES OF LOUIS XI. AND CHARLES VIIL, 
KINGS OF FRANCE, AN' I) OF CHARLES THE BOLD, 
DUKE OF BURGUNDY 



TO WHICH IS ADDED 

THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE 
OR SECRET HISTORY OF LOUIS XL 

By JEAN DE TROYES 

EDITED WITH LIFE AND NOTES BY 

ANDREW R. SCOBLE 



VOL. II. 



LONDON 

G. BELL & SONS, LTD. 

1912 






ISAAC FOOT 
LIBRARY 






") 









[Reprinted from Stereotype platee.J 



CONTEXTS 

Off 

THE SECOND VOLUME. 



BOOK THE SIXTH. 

Chapter I. — How the King of France cajoled the English after 
the Duke of Burgundy's Death, for fear they should have interrupted 
him in the Conquest of the Territories belonging to the said 
Duke ...... p a g e \ 

Ch. II. — Of the Conclusion of the Marriage between the Princess of 
Burgundy and Maximilian Duke of Austria, and since Emperor 9 

Ch. III. — How King Louis, by the Management of Charles d'Amboise 
his Lieutenant, recovered many Towns in Burgundy, which the Prince 
of Orange had persuaded to revolt from him - - 18 

Ch. IV. — How the Lord of Argenton was sent to Florence during the 
Wars in Burgundy, and how he received Homage of the Duke of 
Milan, in the King's Name, for the Duchy of Genoa - 25 

Ch. V.— Of the Lord of Argenton's lieturn out of Italy into France, 
and of the Battle of Guinegaste - - - - 32 

Ch. VI. — How King Louis was surprised with a Malady that for some 
Time took away the Use of both his Senses and Tongue ; how he 
recovered and relapsed several Times, and how he kept himself in 
his Castle at Plessis les Tours - - - - 36 

Ch. VII. — How the King sent for the Holy Man of Calabria to 
Tours, supposing he could cure him ; and of the strange Things that 
were done by the King, during his Sickness, to preserve his Autho- 
rity - -----.. 54 

Ch. VIII. — Of the Conclusion of the Marriage between the Dauphin 
and Margaret of Flanders, and how she was brought into France ; 
upon which Edward IV., King of England, died with Displeasure 58 

Ch. IX. — How the King behaved towards his Neighbours and Sub- 
jects during his Sickness ; and how several Things were sent him 
from several Parts for the Recovery of his Health - - 65 

Cm. X — How King Louis sent for his Son Charles a little before his 
Death ; and the Precepts and Commands which he laid upon him 
and others - - - <"> 



IV CONTENTS OP 

Ch. XI. — A Comparison of the Troubles and Sorrows which King 
Louis suffered, with those he had brought 'upon other People ; 
with a Continuation of his Transactions till the Time of his 
Death ...... Page 70 

Cn. XII. — A Digression concerning the Miseries of Mankind, especially 
of Princes, by the Example of those who reigned in the Author's 
Time, and chiefly of King Louis - - - - 80 



BOOK THE SEVENTH. 

Ch. T. — How Duke Rene of Lorraine came into France to demand the 
Duchy of Bar and the County of Provence, which King Charles had 
in his Possession ; and how he failed to obtain the Kingdom of 
Naples, to which he laid Claim as well as the King ; and what Right 
each had thereto - - - - - -93 

Ch. II. — How the Prince of Salerno, a Neapolitan by Birth, came 
into France; and the Endeavours that were used by him and Ludovic 
Sforza, surnamed the Moor, to persuade the King to make War upon 
the King of Naples ; and the Occasion of it - - - 100 

Cn. III.— How the Duchy of Milan is one of the finest and most va- 
luable Territories in the World, if relieved from the heavy Tribute 
which oppresses it- - - - - -106 

Ch. IV. — How King Charles VIII. made Peace with the King of the 
Romans and the Archduke of Austria •, and returned the Lady Mar- 
garet of Flanders to them before his Expedition to Naples - 110 

Ch. V. — How the King sent to the Venetians, in order to induce them 
to enter into an Alliance with him, before undertaking his Expedition 
to Naples ; and of the Preparations in order to it - - 119 

Ch. VI. — How King Charles set out from Vienne, in Dauphiny, to con- 
quer Naples in Person ; and the Action that was performed by his 
Fleet, under the Command of the Duke of Orleans - - 124 

Ch. VII.— How the King, being at Asti, resolved to go in Person into 
the Kingdom of Naples, by the Persuasion and Advice of Ludovic 
Sforza : how Philip de Commutes was sent on an Embassy to Venice, 
and of the Duke of Milan's Death - - - - 129 

Ch. VIII. — How and by what Means the Lord Ludovic seized and 
usurped the Lordship and Duchy of Milan, and was received by the 
Milanese as their Sovereign - - - - - 132 

Ch. IX. - How Peter de Medicis put Four of his strongest Garrisons 
into the King's Possession ; and how the King restored Pisa, which 
was one of them, to its ancient Liberty ... 134 

Ch. X. — How the King departed from Pisa to go to Florence ; and of 
the Flight and Destruction of Peter de Medicis - - 139 

Ch. XL — How the King made his Entrance into Florence, and what 
other Towns he passed through in his March to Rome - - 1 43 

Ch XII. — How the King sent the Cardinal of St. Peter ad Vincula 
(who was afterwards Pope by the name of Julius II ) to Ostia ; wh*j 



THE SECOND VOLUME. ft 

the Pope did at Rome in the Meantime ; and how the King entered 
Rome, notwithstanding all the Endeavours of his Enemies to the con- 
trary ; and of the Factions between the Ursini and the Colonne in 
Rome - - Page 145 

Ch. XIIL — How King Alphonso caused his Son Ferrand to be crowned 
King ; his Flight into Sicily ; and of the evil Life his Father (old Fer- 
rand) and he had led during their Reigns - - -149 

Ch. XIV. — How King Alphonso fled into Castile and did Penance 153 

Ch. XV. — How, after Ferrand the Younger was crowned King of Naple9, 
he encamped with his Forces at St. Germain, in order to oppose King 
Charles ; and of the Agreement King Charles made with the Pope 
during his stay at Rome - - - - - 157 

Ch. XVI. — How the King departed from Rome to Naples ; of the 
Transactions in that Kingdom in the Meantime ; and an Account of 
the Places the Kins of France passed through in his March - 159 

Ch. XVII. — How King Charles was crowned King of Naples ; the 
Errors he committed in his Government of that Kingdom ; and of the 
Discovery of a Design in his Favour against the Turks by the Vene- 
tians - - - - - - - • 163 

Ch. XVIIL — A Digression o»- Discourse, by no Means unconnected 
with the main Subject, in which Philip de Commines, Author of this 
present Book, speaks at some Length of the State and Government 
of the Signory of Venice, and of what he saw, and what was done, 
while he was Ambassador from the King of France in the City of 
Venice - - - - - - -168 

Ch. XIX. — What were the Subjects of the Embassy of the Lord of 
Argenton to the Republic of Venice - - - - 173 

Ch, XX How the Lord of Argenton was informed that the King had 

gained Possession of Naples and the Places round about ; at which 
the Venetians were displeased - - - - -177 



BOOK THE EIGHTH. 

Ch. I. — Of the Order in which the King left his Affairs in the Kingdom 
of Naples upon his Return into France - - - 183 

Ch. IL — How the King departed from Naples, and returned to Rome, 
from whence the Pope fled to Orvieto ; of the Conference the King 
had with the Lord of Argenton upon his Return from Venice ; and 
his Deliberation about the Restitution of the Florentine Towns - 186 

Ch. III. — Of the memorable Preachings of Friar Jerome of Florence 189 

Ch. IV. — How the King retained Pisa and several other Florentine 
Towns in his Hands, while the Duke of Orleans on the other Side en- 
tered Novara, in the Duchy of Milan - - - - 191 

Ch. V. — How King Charles crossed several dangerous Passages over the 
Mountains between Pisa and Sarzana; and how the Germans burned 
Pontremoli - - - - - - -194 

Ch. VL — How the Duke of Orleans behaved himself in the City of 
Novara • • • - 191 

VOL. U. » 



VI CONTENTS OP 

Ch. VII. — How the Kins; passed the Apennine Mountains with his 
Train of Artillery, by the Assistance of the Swiss; and of the great 
Danger to which the Marshal de Gie and his whole Vanguard were 
exposed ..--_.. Page 199 

Ch. VIII. — How the Marshal de Gie withdrew with his Army to the 
Mountains, and waited until the King came up to him - 202 

Ch. IX. — How the King and his small Army arrived at Fornovo, near 
the Camp of his Enemies, who awaited him in very fine Order, and 
with a Determination to defeat and capture him - - 204 

Ch. X. — The Arrangement of the two Armies for the Battle of For- 
novo -------- 207 

Ch. XI. — How Parleys were vainly attempted; and the Beginning of 
the Battle of Fornovo - - - - -211 

Ch. XII. — Consequences of the Victory gained by the French at 
Fornovo; and the Danger to which King Charles VIII. found him- 
self exposed - - - - - - -215 

Ch. XIII. — How the Lord of Argenton went alone to parley with 
the Enemy, upon the Refusal of those that were deputed to go along 
with him, and of the King's safe Arrival with his whole Army at 
Asti -------- 220 

Ch XIV. — How the Swiss secured the French Army in its Re- 
treat -------- 226 

Ch. XV. — How the King fitted out a Fleet with an Intention to 
have relieved the Castles of Naples; and of the Miscarriage of that 
Design ... . . . 228 

Ch. XVL — Of the great Famine and Misery to which the Duke of 
Orleans and his Army were reduced at Novara: of the Death of the 
Marchioness of Montferrat: of the Death of the Duke of Vendome; 
and the Conclusion of a Peace for the Preservation of the besieged 
after several Negotiations ----- 232 

Ch. XVII. — How the Duke of Orleans and his Army were delivered 
upon Terms of Accommodation from the dire Misery they suffered 
during their being besieged in Novara; and of the Arrival of the 
Swiss that came to the Relief of the King and the said Duke of 
Orleans - - - - - - - 242 

Ch. XVIII. — How Peace was concluded between the King and the 
Duke of Orleans on the one Part, and the League on the other; 
and of the Conditions and Articles contained in that Treaty of 
Peace -------- 245 

Ch. XIX. — How the King sent the Lord of Argenton to Venice again, 
to invite the Venetians to accept the Terms of Peace that were offered, 
which the Venetians refused; and of the Tricks and Jugglings of 
the Duke of Milan ------ 248 

Ch. XX. — How the King forgot those that were left behind at 
Naples, upon his Return into France; and of the Dauphin's Death, 
which was a great Affliction to the King and Queen - - 253 

Ch. XXI. — How the King received News of the Loss of the Castle of 
Naples; of the selling of the Towns belonging to the Florentines to 



THE SECOND VOLUME. Vll 

several Persons; of the Treaty of Atella in Apulii), mL..h to the 
Prejudice of the French; and of the Death of Ferrand, King of 
Naples ...-_- Page 257 

Ch. XXII. — How several Plots were formed (in Favour of our King) 
by some of the Italian Princes, not only for the Recovery of Naples, 
but for the Destruction of the Duke of Milan; how they miscarried 
for want of Supplies; and how another Design against Genoa came 
to the same ill End ------ 264 

Ch. XXIII. — Of certain Differences that arose between Charles King 
of France and Ferrand King of Castile; and the Ambassadors whs 
were sent by both of them to accommodate the Affair - - 26o 

Ch. XXIV. — A Digression concerning the Fortunes and Misfort»ne9 
which happened to the House of Castile in the Author's Time 277 

Ch. XXV. — Of the magnificent Building which King Charles began 
not long before his Death; his good Inclination to reform the Church, 
the Laws, the Treasury, and himself; and how he died suddenly in 
this Resolution in his Castle at Amboise - - - 281 

Ch. XXVI. — How holy Friar Jerome was burned at Florence by the 
Malice and Solicitation of the Pope, and several Venetians and Flo- 
rentines who were his Enemies .... 284 

Ch. XXVII. — Of the Obsequies and Funeral of King Charles VIII., 
and the Coronation of his Successor Louis XII. ; with the Genealogies 
of the Kings of France to King Louis XIL - 287 



THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 

The Chronicles of the very Christian and very victorious Louis of 
Valois, late King of France (whom God absolve), with various other 
Adventures which occurred both in the Realm of France and in 
neighbouring Countries from the Year 1460 until 1483 iiiclu- 
fively -...>-• <s %?? 



THE MEMOIRS 



ow 



THILIP DE COMMINES, 

LORD OF ARGENTON. 



BOOK THE SIXTH. 

Chapter I. — How the King of France cajoled the English after the 
Duke of Burgundy's Death, for fear they should have interrupted him 
in the Conquest of the Territories belonging to the said Duke. — 1477 

They who shall read these Memoirs hereafter, and have a 
better knowledge of the affairs of this kingdom and its 
neighbouring States than I have, may perhaps wonder that, 
from the Duke of Burgundy's death to this time, which is 
little less than a year, I have not said a word of the English, 
nor of their suffering the king to seize upon those towns 
which were near them, as Arras, Boulogne, Hesdin, Ardres 
and several other castles, and to lie so many days before St. 
Omer. The reason of it was, because, in cunning and arti- 
fice, our king was much superior to King Edward, who was 
indeed a brave prince, and had won eight or nine battles in 
England, in which he had been always present himself, and 
had fought constantly on foot, which redounded much to his 
honour ; but the two kings were placed in different circum- 
stances, and the English king depended not so much upon his 
diligence or understanding, for upon the success of one battle 
he was absolute master till another rebellion disturbed him. 
In England, when any disputes arise, and occasion a war, 
the controversy is generally decided in eight or ten days, 
when one party or other gains the victory; but with us, on 
this side of the water, affairs are managed quite otherwise. 

VOL. U. B 



2 TTIE MEM01KS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1177. 

Our king is obliged, whilst he is carrying on any war. to 
keep a watchful eye upon his neighbours, as well as over the 
rest of his kingdom ; and particularly to satisfy the King of 
England above all, who must be quieted at any cost, and 
cajoled with ambassadors, promises, and presents, lest he 
should attempt anything that might interrupt our king's 
designs. For our master was well aware that the nobility, 
commons, and clergy of England, are always ready tj enter 
upon a war with Fiance, being incited thereunto, not only 
upon the account of their old title to its crown, but by the 
desire of gain, lor it pleased God to permit their prede- 
cessors to win several memorable battles in this kingdom, and 
to continue in the possession of Normandy and Guienne for 
the space of three hundred and fifty years*, before Charles 
VII. gave them the first blowf; during which time they 
carried over enormcus booty into England, not only in plun- 
der, which they had taken in the several towns, but in the 
richness and quality of their prisoners, who were many of 
them great princes and lords, who paid them vast ransom3 
for their liberty; so that every Englishman afterwards hoped 
to do the same thing, and return home laden with spoils. 
liut this fortune was not to be looked for in our king's davs, 
lor he would never have ventured the whole kingdom upon 
the doubtful issue of a battle, nor have done anything so 
rashly as to dismount himself, with all his nobility, to fight 
on foot, as the English did at the battle of Agincourt| ; and 
it' he had been reduced to that extremity, lie would cer- 
tainly have managed his affairs with more prudence and 

* The English became masters of the duchy of Guienne about the 
year 1 1 59, in consequence of the marriage of King Henry II. with 
Eleanor of Guienne. Charles VII. regained possession of the duchy in 
1451 ; but Bordeaux having placed itself once more in the hands of the 
English, the French king reduced it finally on the 1 7th of October, 1453. 

f Commines here alludes to the series of successes obtained over the 
English by the French under Joan of Arc. 

% The ba tie of Agincourt was fought on the 25th of October, 1415. 
The English army, under Henry V., did not consist of move than 15.000 
men ; the French were, at the least. 50,000, and, by some computations, 
i-rill more numerous. Thev lost 10,000 killed, of whom 9000 were 
knights or gentlemen. Almost as many were made prisoners. The 
English, according to Monstrelet, lost 1600 men ; but their own histo» 
ram reduce this to a much smaller number. 



1477 ] 



THE KING OK FRANCE CAJOLES THE ENGLISH. 



caution, as may be presumed from the manner of his eon- 
duct wlien King Edward was in France. 

The king accordingly found himself under an absolute 
necessity to caress and pacify the King of England, and the 
rest of his neighbours, whom he perceived inclinable to 
peace, in hopes of receiving his muney ; and therefore he 
paid a pension of fifty thousand crowns punctually in 
London, and allowed it to be called tribute by the English. 
He also distributed sixteen thousand more anions the King 
of England's officers that were about his person, particularly 
to the Chancellor*, the Master of the Rolls f (who is now 

* Thomas Rotherham, Bishop of Lincoln, was chancellor in February, 
1475. "He owed his elevation," says Lord Campbell, "to his own 
merits. His family name was Scot, unillustrated in England at that 
time, and, instead of it, he assumed the name of the town in the West 
Hiding of Yorkshire in which he was born. He studied at King's 
College, Cambridge, and was one of the earliest fellows on this royal 
foundation, which has since produced so many distinguished men. He 
was afterwards Master of Pembroke Hall, and Chancellor of this Uni- 
versity. For his learning and piety he was at an early age selected to 
be chaplain to Vere, thirteenth Earl of Oxford, and he was then taken 
into the service of Edward IV. Being a steady Yorkist, he was made 
Bishop of Rochester in 1467, and translated to Lincoln in 1471. In 
1480, he became Archbishop of York, and he received a cardinal's hat 
from the Pope." In April, 1476, he was removed from the chancellorship, 
but reinstated in the office in September of the same year ; and he "con- 
tinued chancellor and chief adviser of the Crown during the remainder 
of the reign of Edward IV. He was considered the greatest equity 
lawyer of the age." On the death of Edward IV., he delivered up the 
great seal ; but though u he did not take any active part in the struggles 
which ensued, he was so strongly suspected by Richard III., that he was 
detained in prison till near the end of this reign. After the battle of 
Bosworth he quietly submitted to the new government, but he was 
looked upon with no favour by Henry VII. He died of the plague at 
Cawood, in the year 1500, aged 76, and was buried in his own cathedral. 
He was founder of Lincoln College, Oxford, and showed his affection to 
the place of his nativity by building a college there, with three schools 
for grammar, writing, and music." — Campbell's Lives of the Chu/e- 
eellors, vol. i. pp. 393—403. 

t " John Morton was born at Bere in Dorsetshire, of a private gentle- 
man's family, in the year 1410. He received his earliest education at the 
Abbey of Ceme, from whence he was removed to Balliol College, Oxford, 
where he devoted himself to the study of the civil and canon law, and 
took with great distinction the degree of LL. I). He then went to 
London, and practised as an advocate in Doctors* Commons, where be 
•uou besame the decided leader, anil rose to sueU distinc'.iuii by I » 

u. 8 



4 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIlLir DE COMMIXES [~1477 

chancellor), the High Chamberlain, the Lord Hastings (a 
man of honour and prudence, and of great authority with 
his master, and deservedly, upon account of the faithful 
service he had done him), Sir Thomas Montgomery, the 
Lord Howard (who afterwards espoused King Richard's 
interest, and was created Duke of Norfolk), the Lord Cheney, 
master of the horse, Mr. Chalenger, and a certain marquis*, 
who was the Queen of England's son, by her first husband. 

learning and eloquence, that he gained the good opinion of Cardinal 
Bourchier, who recommended him to Henry VI. He was sworn of the 
1'rivv Council by that sovereign, was made prebendary of Salisbury, and 
had the rich living of Blakesworth bestowed upon him. On the ac- 
cession of Edward IV. he made submission to the House of York, and 
the new king continued him a privy councillor, appointed him Master of 
the Rolls, and conferred on him great ecclesiastical preferment, crowned 
with the Bishopric of Ely. Richard III. imprisoned him, but he con- 
trived to escape to the Continent. Immediately after the battle of 
Bosworth, Henry VII. recalled him, raised him to the see of Canterbury 
on the death of Cardinal Bourchier, procured a cardinal's hat for him 
from Pope Alexander VI., and made him Lord Chancellor. He con- 
tinued in this office, and in the unabated favour and confidence of his 
royal master, down to the time of his death, a period of thirteen years, 
during which he greatly contributed to the steadiness of the government 
and the growing prosperity of the country. Several important statutes 
were passed on his recommendation, including that which protects from 
the pains of treason all who act under a de facto king. In 1494, Morton 
was made Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and on the 13th of 
September, 1500, he died, after a lingering illness. Notwithstanding 
some arbitrary acts of government, which should be judged of by the 
standard of his own age, he left behind him a high character for probity 
as well as talents. His munificence was great, and he was personally 
untainted by the vice of avarice which disgraced the sovereign. Sir 
Thomas More, who was brought up in his house, says of him : ' He 
was a man no less venerable for his wisdom and virtue than for the high 
reputation he bore. He was of a middle stature, in advanced years, but 
not broken by age; his aspect begot reverence rather than fear. He 
spoke both gracefully and mightily ; he was eminently skilled in the 
law ; he had a comprehensive understanding, and a very retentive me- 
mory ; and the excellent talents with which nature had furnished him 
were improved by study and discipline. The king depended much on 
his counsels, and the government seemed to be chiefly supported by 
him ; for from his youth he had been constantly practised in affairs, and 
having passed through many changes of fortune, he had, at a heavy 
cost, acquired a great stock of wisdom, which, when so purchased, is 
found most serviceable.'" — See Lokd Campbell's Lives of the Chaif 
eellors, vol. i. pp. 417 — 425 

• Thomas Gray, first Marquis of Dorset. 



1 477. J LIBERALITIES OF THE KING OF FRANCE. 5 

Besides these great presents, he was also very generous to 
ambassadors; and all who were sent to him from the English 
Court, though their messages were never so harsh and dis- 
pleasing, lie dispatched with such fair words and large 
presents, that they went away very well satisfied with him ; 
and though they were certainly assured (at least some of 
them), that what he did was only to gain time to effect his 
designs, yet their private interest prevailed with them to 
wink at it, highly to the detriment and disadvantage of their 
public affairs. 

To all the persons of quality above-mentioned, the king 
gave considerable presents, besides their pensions. To the 
Lord Howard, besides his pension, he gave, to my certain 
knowledge, in less than two years' time, in money and plate, 
above twenty-four thousand crowns; and to the Lord Hastings, 
who was King Edward's chamberlain, he gave at one time 
one thousand silver marks in plate; and all the receipts of 
every Englishman of quality, except the Lord Hastings, are 
still to be seen in the chamber of accounts at Paris. This 
Lord Hastings was at that time High Chamberlain of Eng- 
land (an oMice of great reputation, and executed singly by 
one man). It was with great difficulty and solicitation, that, 
he was made one of the king's pensioners, and I was the 
cause of it: for at the time when I was in the Duke of 
Burgundy's service, I had brought him over to his interest, 
and he allowed him a pension of a thousand crowns a year.* 
Upon my telling our king what I had done, he employed me 
to try what I could do to bring him over to his interest ; for 
he had been his particular enemy in the Duke of Burgundy's 
time, after which he became a favourer of the young Princess 
of Burgundy, and was once like to have prevailed with 
the King of England to cross the seas again to assist that 
princess. I began our amity by letters ; the king granted 
him a pension of two thousand crowns per annum, which 
was double what had been paid him by the duke, and sent 
one of the stewards of his house, called Peter Clairetf, with 
it; giving him express orders to take his receipt, that here- 

* On the 4th of May, 1471, the Duke of Burgundy granted a pension 
of twelve hundred florins to Lord Hastings. — Lenglet, ii. 198. 

t Pierre Cleret, esquire, councillor, and steward to Louis XL Cot 
many years. 

B 3 



6 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIILIP DE COMJIINE?. J? 1*7. 

after it might appear upon record, that the lord chamherlain, 
chancellor, admiral, master of the horse, and several other 
great lords of England, had been at the same time pen- 
sioners to the King of France. This Peter Clairet was a 
very cunning man, and was privately admitted to the lord 
chamberlain, at his house in London ; and having delivered 
his compliments from the king, he presented his two thou- 
sand crowns in gold (for to foreign lords of great quality 
the king never gave any other coin). The chamberlain 
having received the gold, Peter Clairet desired his lordship 
would be pleased to give him a receipt for it ; the lord 
chamberlain scrupling to do it, he repeated his request, and 
entreated him that he would give him only three lines under 
his hand, directed to the king his master, lest his majesty 
should think he had embezzled it himself, for he was of a 
very suspicious temper. The lord chamberlain seeing he 
persisted (though his demand was but reasonable), replied, 
"Master Clairet, what you desire is not unreasonable, but this 
present proceeds from your master's generosity, not from 
any request of mine; if you have a mind I should receive it, 
you may put it into my sleeve, but neither letter nor acquit- 
tance will you have from me; for it shall never be said of 
me, that the High Chamberlain of England was pensioner to 
the King of France, nor shall my receipt be ever produced 
in his chamber of accounts." C lairet urged the matter no 
farther, but left the money, and returned his answer to the 
king, who was highly displeased at his not bringing a re- 
ceipt; hut he commended and valued the lord chamberlain 
above all the King of England's ministers, ever after paid 
him his pension constantly, and never asked for his receipt. 
In this posture were aflaix-s between the King of England 
and our master : however, the King of England was ear- 
nestly solicited and urged to assist the young princess, and 
he sent several embassies to our master to remonstrate with 
him, and to press him either for a peace, or a cessation of 
arms. For some of the privy council of England, and of 
the Parliament (which is of the same nature as our three 
Estates), were persons of wisdom and penetration, who came 
nut of the country, and were not pensioners of France like 
the rest, and these pressed hard, that the King of England 
would interpose vigorously for the Princess of Burgundy s 



1477.] POLICY OF KING LOU13. t 

arging, tliat we did but dissemble with them, and amuse them 
with hopes of a marriage, as it very plainly appeared : fof 
at the treaty at Piequigny * the two kin;rs had mutually 
sworn, that within the space of a year, the Kimj of England's 
daughter should be sent for; but though the King of France 
had permitted her to be styled the dauphiness, jet the time, 
was elapsed, and the lady had not been sent for. But all 
the arguments his subjects made use of could not prevail 
with King Edward, for several reasons. King P^dward was 
a voluptuous prince, wholly addicted to his pleasures and ease; 
and having been, in his former expeditions, reduced to great 
straits and necessities, he had no mind to involve himself 
in a new war on this side of the water : the fifty thousand 
crowns, too, which were punctually paid him in the Tower, 
softened his heart, and hindered him from concerning him- 
self in this affair. Besides, his ambassadors were always 
bribed, and entertained so nobly, that they left the French 
court well satisfied, though the king's answers were always un- 
certain, in ordertogain time ; for they were always told that in 
a few days the king would send ambassadors of his own, who 
would satisfy their master in every point which had been 
left in doubt. 

As soon as the King of England's ambassadors were re- 
turned, about three weeks or a month later, sometimes more, 
sometimes less (which in such cases is a great matter), the 
king our master would send his envoys ; but always new per- 
sons, and such as had not been employed in any overture 
with the English before, to the end that if anything had 
been promised by their predecessors, but not afterwards 
performed, they might pretend ignorance, and not be obliged 
to give an answer. Tlie ambassadors, therefore, who were 
sent into England, used their utmost endeavours to persuade 
King Edward of the good inclinations of the King of France 
so that he might remain quiet, and not give the least assist- 
ance to the Princess of Burgundy: for both the King and 
the Queen of England were so desirous of the match with 
their daughter, that upon that account, not to mention 
several other reasons, the king was willing to wink at these 
proceedings, and take no notice of the remonstrances that 
were made to him by some of his privy council, who repre- 

• See book \v. chap 9. of these Memoirs. 
a 4 



8 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP HE COMMIXES. [1477 

sented to him how prejudicial it would be to the interest of 
the whole nation. Besides, he was afraid the marriage might 
be broken off, as it began already to be laughed at in Eng- 
land, especially by such as were desirous of war. 

But to clear up this matter a little more, the king our 
master never designed to effect this marriage, by reason of 
the disproportion in their years ; for the young lady *, who 
is now Queen of England, was much older than the dauphin, 
who is now King of France, j" So that a month or two 
were spent in sending ambassadors from one court to another ; 
and these artifices were made use of purely to gain time, 
and hinder the English from declaring war against our 
king : for certainly, had it not been in hopes of this mar- 
riage, the King of England would never so tamely have 
suffered our king to have taken so many towns, without en- 
deavouring to have defended them ; and had he declared at 
the outset for the young Princess of Burgundy, as our 
king was so fearful of bringing anything to a hazard, he 
would not have encroached so far upon the dominions of the 
House of Burgundy, nor have weakened it so much. My 
chief design in narrating these transactions is, to show 
the method and conduct of all human affairs, by the read- 
ing of which such persons as are employed in the negotia- 
tion of great matters, may be instructed how to manage their 
business; for though their judgment may be good, yet a 
little advice sometimes does no harm. This I have been 
assured of, that if the Princess of Burgundy could have 
been persuaded to marry Earl Rivers, the Queen of Eng- 
land's brother, they would have succoured her with a con- 
siderable number of troops ; but that marriage would have 
been very unequal, for he was only an earl, and she the 
greatest heiress of her time. 

Many overtures and bargains were made between the 
Kings of England and France; among the rest the King of 
France offered, that if b- -*'ould join with him, and come 
over in person, and invak~ the Low Countries, which be- 
longed to the Princess of Burgundy, his majesty would con- 

* The Princess Elizabeth, who afterwards was married to Henry VII., 
by which match the Houses of York and Lancaster were united, was 
botn in 1466. 

f Charles VIIL was born on the 30th of June, 1470. 



1 477-] PRINCESS of burgundy's affairs. 9 

gent that the King of England should have all Flanders for 
his share, and hold it without homage, and the province of 
Brabant besides, in which the King of France would en- 
gage to reduce four of the chief towns at his own expense, 
and afterwards deliver them up to the King of England. 
Besides, he proffered (to lessen his charge in the war), to 
pay ten thousand of the King of England's troops for four 
months; and to lend him a large train of artillery, horses, 
and carriages, for their conveyance, upon condition the 
King of England would invade Flanders, whilst he made 
war upon Burgundy in another place. The King of Eng- 
land's answer was, that the towns in Flanders were large and 
strong, and not easy to be kept when they were taken, and that 
Brabant was the same ; besides which, the English had no 
great inclination to undertake such a war, upon account of 
the commerce that was betwixt them and the Low Coun- 
tries ; but since the king was so generously inclined, as to 
allow him a share in his conquests, he desired he would give 
him some of the places he had conquered already in Picardy, 
such as Boulogne, and others; upon surrendering up of 
which, he would be ready to declare on his side, and would 
send an army to his assistance if he would engage to 
pay it. 



Ch. II. — Of the Conclusion of the Marriage between the Princess of 
Burgundy, and Maximilian Duke of Austria, and since Emperor. — 
1477. 

After this manner (as I have said before), transactions 
were managed between the two kings for no other purpose 
but to gain time, by which means the Princess of Bur- 
gundy's affairs began visibly to decay; for of the few 
soldiers that remained after her father's death, many revolted 
from her to the king, especially after the Lord des Cordes 
had quitted her service, and carried several others along 
with him. Some were forced to leave her because their 
estates or abodes lay very near or within the towns 
which had declared for the king; others left her in hopes 
of preferment ; for in that respect no prince was so 



10 THE MlCMOlKS OF mtLlP DE COMMIXES. fi477. 

noble and generous to his servants as our master. Besides, 
commotions and factions discovered themselves daily in the 
great towns, and particularly in Ghent, wliich wanted to 
have everything its own way, as you have already heard. 
Several husbands were proposed to the Princess of Bur- 
gundy, and every one was of opinion there was a necessity of 
her marrying, to defend those territories that she had left to 
her, or (by marrying the dauphin), to recover what she had 
lost. Several were entirely for this match, and she was as 
earnest for it as anybody, before the letters she had sent by 
the Lord of Humbercourt and the chancellor to the king 
were betrayed to the ambassadors from Ghent. Some op- 
posed the match, and urged the disproportion of their age, 
the dauphin being but nine years old, and besides engaged 
to the King of England's daughter ; and these suggested the 
son of the Duke of Cleves. Others recommended Maxi- 
milian, the emperor's son, who is at present King of the 
Romans. 

The princess herself had conceived an extreme hatred 
against the king, ever since he had basely given up her 
letters; for she looked upon him as the occasion of the 
death of her two principal ministers of state, and of the 
dishonour and shame that was put upon her, when the 
letters were delivered to her publicly in her council, as you 
have heard before. Besides, it was that which gave the 
Gantois confidence to banish so many of her servants, and 
to remove her mother-in-law and the Lord of Ravestain 
from about her, and put her maids of honour into such a 
consternation, that not one of them durst open a letter with- 
out first showing it to the Gantois, nor speak to their 
mistress in a low tone. This made the princess carry her- 
self very distantly to the Bishop of Liege, who was of the 
House of Bourbon, and a great promoter of this match with 
the Dauphin, which certainly would have been very honour- 
able and advantageous for the princess, had it not been for 
the extreme youth of the dauphin ; but the bishop was 
unable to effect his object, so he removed to Liege, and that 
affair was laid wholly aside. Without dispute, it would 
have been a very difficult matter to have managed that ne- 
gotiation to the satisfaction of both parties; and I am of 
opinion that whoever had undertaken it, would have gained 



1477.] MARRIAGE OF PRINCESS OF BURGDNDY. 11 

but little credit by it in the end. However (as I have been 
informed), a council was held about it, at which Madame 
de Hallewin*, first lady of the bed-chamber to the princess, 
was present ; and being asked her opinion about the dauphin, 
she replied, " That there was more need of a man than a 
boy ; that her mistress was capable of bearing a child, which 
was what her dominions wanted more than anything else;"" 
and this opinion prevailed. Some condemned the lady for 
answering so plainly, others commended her, alleging that 
what she spoke was purely in relation to marriage, and the 
necessity of her lady's dominions, so that now the only talk 
was, who should be the person. I am verily persuaded, that 
if the king had been inclined to have had her marry the 
Count of Angoulesmef, who is now living, she would have 
consented to it, so desirous was she to continue her alliance 
with France. God, however, thought fit to appoint her 
another husband, for reasons unknown perhaps to us, unless 
it were, that it might occasion greater wars and confusions 
on both sides than could possibly have happened, had she 
married the Count of Angoulesme, for by this match the 
provinces of Flanders and Brabant sustained great miseries 
and afflictions. The Duke of Cleves was at this time in 
Ghent with the princess, making friends, and trying all arts 
to effect a marriage between the princess and his son, but 
she had no inclination to it, for the character of the young 
gentleman pleased neither her nor any person about her 
court. At last a marriage was again proposed between her 
and the emperor's son, the present King of the Romans, of 
which there had formerly been some overtures between the 
Emperor and Duke Charles, and a match concluded between 
them. The emperor had in his custody a letter written by 
the young lady, at her father's command, under her own 
hand, and a diamond ring of considerable value. The 
purport of the letter was to acquaint his imperial majesty, 
that, in obedience to her father's commands, she promised to 
accomplish the marriage with his son the Duke uf Austria, 

* Jeanne de la Clite, Lady of Commines, and wife of the Lord of 
Halcwyn. She was a cousin of the author of these Memoirs. 

t Charts of Orleans, Count of Angouleme, aud father of Kiuq 
Francis L 



12 THI-: MEMOiRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1477 

in the same form and manner as her father the Duke of 
Burgundy should think fit to prescribe. 

The emperor sent certain ambassadors* to the princess, 
who was at Ghent ; but, upon their arrival at Brussels, 
letters were sent to them to remain there, and that com- 
missioners should be sent thither to receive and answer their 
demands. This was only a contrivance of the Duke of 
Cleves, who was extremely displeased at their coming, and 
endeavoured to send them back again dissatisfied ; but the 
ambassadors continued their journey, for they had intel- 
ligence in the princess's court, or, at least, with the Duchess 
Dowager of Burgundy, who had been removed from the 
princess, as you have heard before, upon oocasion of the 
letter. This lady, as I have been since informed, advised 
them to proceed with their journey notwithstanding these 
letters, gave them instructions how they were to behave 
themselves upon their arrival at Ghent, and assured them 
that the young princess and the greatest part of her court 
were well disposed towards them. Upon this information 
the ambassadors advanced, and taking no notice of the 
orders which they had received, went directly to Ghent, at 
which the Duke of Cleves was highly offended ; but he knew 
nothing as yet of the inclination of the ladies. It was re- 
solved by the council that the princess should give them 
audience, and, after they had delivered their credentials, 
should let them know that they were very welcome, that 
she would acquaint her council with their desires, and order 
them to return her answer ; but that she could not give any 
farther answer about it. 

The ambassadors being admitted to a public audience, 
presented their credentials, and then delivered their embassy, 
which was only to remind her Highness that the marriage 
had been concluded formally between the emperor and her 
father, by her own consent and approbation, as appeared by 
the letter under her own hand, which they produced, and 
the diamond ring which they said had been sent as a pledge 

* According to Molinet (ii. 94.) these ambassadors were " My Lord 
Bishop of Mayence, Duke Louis of Bavaria, and a very elegant protho- 
not&ry named George Hesler." To this list Lenglet adds a certaiu 
doctor, William Mortingle ; and Oliver de la Maiche (ii. 422.) substi* 
tutes I he Bishop of Metz for the Bishop of Mayence. 



1477. J DUKE MAXIMILIAN AT COLOGNE. 13 

of the said marriage. Upon which the ambassadors insisted, 
that the young princess should be pleased to consummate 
the marriage according to the engagement and promise both 
of her father and herself; and then they conjured her to 
declare befure the whole assembly whether she had written 
the letter or not, and whether she designed to make good 
her promise. The young princess, without consulting any, 
replied that she had written the letter and sent the ring in 
obedience to her father's commands, and that she freely 
owned the contents of it. The ambassadors thereupon ex- 
pressed their humble acknowledgments, and returned very 
joyful to their lodgings. 

The Duke of Cleves was extremely dissatisfied with her 
answer, as being contrary to what had been agreed on in 
council, and he upbraided the young princess for having 
acted very indiscreetly in this affair. To which she replied, 
" That it was not in her power to do any otherwise, since 
it was a thing agreed on long before, and she could not 
gainsay it." On hearing her answer, and finding that many 
about the princess were of the same opinion, he resolved to 
give over his own solicitations, and retire in a few days 
into his own country. And thus was the marriage con- 
cluded ; and Duke Maximilian came to Cologne, where seve- 
ral of the princess's servants went to meet him, and carry 
him money, with which, as I have been told, he was but 
very slenderly furnished ; for his father w r as the stingiest 
and most covetous prince, or person, of his time.* The 

* The character of this emperor is thus sketched by Mr. Hallam: 
" Frederic III. reigned fifty-three years — a longer period than any of 
his predecessors ; and hi3 personal character was more insignificant. 
With better fortune than could be expected, considering both these cir- 
cumstances, he escaped any overt attempt to depose him, though such a 
project was sometimes in agitation. He reigned during an interesting 
age, full of remarkable events, and big with others of more leading im- 
portance. The destruction of the Greek empire, and appearance of the 
victorious crescent upon the Danube, gave an unhappy distinction to 
the earlier years of his reign, and displayed his mean and pusillanimous 
character in circumstances which demanded a hero. At a later season 
he was drawn into contentions with France and Burgundy, which ulti- 
mately produced a new and more general combination of European 
politics. Frederic, always poor, and scarce!" able to protect himself in 
Austria from the seditions of his subjects or the inroads of the Kins <H 



14 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1177. 

Duke of Austria was conducted to Ghent, with about seven 
or eight hundred horse in his retinue, and this marriage was 
.consummated*, which at first sight brought no great advan- 
tage to the subjects of the young princess ; for, instead of his 
supporting her, she was forced to supply him with money. 
His armies were neither strong enough, nor in a condition 1o 
face the king's; besides which, the humour of the house of 
Austria was not pleasing to the subjects of the house of 
Burgundy, who had been bred up under wealthy princes, 
that had lucrative offices and employments to dispose of ; 
whose palaces were sumptuous, whose tables were nobly 
served, whose dress was magnificent, and wdiose liveries 
were pompous and splendid. But the Germans are of quite 
a contrary temper ; boorish in their manners, and rude in 
their way of living. 

It seems to me, that upon good and solid advice, and not 
without the particular grace of God, that law was made in 
France, whereby women are excluded from the succession, 
and no daughter suffered to inherit the crown, to prevent its 
falling into the hands of a foreign nation, or prince ; which 
the French would hardly endure, nor, indeed, would any 
other nation ; for there is no sovereignty whatever but at 
length revolves upon the natives. This may be seen in 
France, where the English had great possessions for forty 
years together, and at this present time have nothing left 
of all their conquests but Calais and two little castles f, which 
cost them a great deal to keep ; the rest they lost much 
more easily than they conquered it ; for they lost more in 

Hungary, was yet another founder of his family, and left their fortunes 
incomparably more prosperous than at his accession. The marriage of 
his son Maximilian with the heiress of Burgundy began that aggrandise- 
ment of the house of Austria which Frederic seems to have anticipated. 
The Austrian provinces were re-united, either under Frederic, or in the 
first years of Maximilian : so that at the close of that period, which we 
denominate the middle ages, the German empire, sustained by the patri- 
monial dominions of its chief, became again considerable in the scale of 
nations, and capable of preserving a balance between the ambitious 
monarchies of France and Spain." — Hallam's Middle Ages, vol. i. pp. 
449, 450. 

* On the 18th of August, 1477. — See Gachard's edition of Ba&ant£'& 
Dukes of Burgundy, vol. ii. p. 577. 

f Guines ami Ilames. 



1477.] CHARACTER OF DUKE MAXIMILIAN. 1" 

one day than they had gained in a year. The same tiling 
is observable in the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, and 
other provinces, of which the French had possession for 
many years together ; in all which there is now no monu- 
ment of their power remaining but the sepulchres of their 
fathers. And, if it were possible for a nation to admit a 
foreign prince whose wisdom was great, and his retinue 
small and well-regulated, yet they could hardly be pre- 
vailed upon to receive him with a great train, or suffer that 
he should send for great numbers of his other subjects, 
upon pretence of making war upon his neighbours ; because 
animosities will certainly arise among them, by reason of 
their diversity of manners and disposition, and the violences 
the new-comers will commit; for they cannot feel so much 
love and affection for the country as those who were born 
in it ; especially if they aspire and aim at offices or em- 
ployments which belong more properly to the natives. So 
that it is very requisite for a wise prince, upon his coming 
into a foreign country, to adjust all differences in his towns; 
and, if lie be not master of this virtue (which proceeds more 
immediately from God than anything else), the rest, though 
called virtues, will be of no advantage to him: and, if he 
reigns loner, he and all his subjects will find themselves in- 
volved in troubles, especially when he comes to be aged, 
and his ministers and servants have no hopes of amendment 
in his condition. 

This aforesaid marriage was performed with great pomp 
and solemnity, but affairs were not placed by it in a much 
better posture ; for they were both very young. Duke 
Maximilian was a person of no great knowledge, both in 
consequence of his youth, and of his being in a foreign 
country. Besides, his education had been but indifferent, 
and not serviceable for the management of great affairs ; 
nor, if it had been better, had he a sufficient body of troops 
ready to have attempted anything considerable : so that 
Ids poor countries were involved in great troubles, which 
have continued to this day, and are like to continue. For 
which reasons, as I said before, it is a great misfortune 
to any country to have to seek a foreign sovereign ; and 
God has been very merciful to France in establishing 
that law against the inheritance of the crowu by a dau^u- 



16 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP Dt COMMINES [1477. 

ter.* Aprivate or insignificant family may be much aggran- 
dised by it ; but a great kingdom, like ours, will always be 
greatly inconvenienced, and incommoded. A few days after 
the consummation of this marriage (if not at the very time 
of its negotiation), the whole country of Artois was lost. (It 
will be sufficient for me to narrate the substance of events, 
and if I fail in terms, or the just computation of times, I 
hope the reader will excuse me.) The king's affairs went on 
prosperously, without any manner of opposition, during the 
winter ; only now and then some overture or proposition 
was made, which came to nothing ; for both sides being 
high in their demands, the war could not but continue. 
Duke Maximilian and the Princess of Burgundy had a son 
the first year, namely, the Archduke Philipt, who is now 

* The rule that a woman was incapable of succeeding to the crown of 
France — quod in regno Francice mulier non succedit — was first pro- 
claimed when Philip the Long succeeded to the throne in 1317, to the 
exclusion of his niece. " French writers," says Mr. Hallam, " almost 
unanimously concur in asserting that this exclusion was built upon a 
fundamental maxim of their government. No written law, nor even, 
as far as I know, the direct testimony of any ancient writer, has been 
brought forward to confirm this position. The text of the Salic law, 
which has, indeed, given a name to this exclusion of females, can only by 
a doubtful and refined analogy be considered as bearing any relation to 
the succession of the crown. It is certain, nevertheless, that from the 
time of Clovis, no woman had ever reigned in France ; but, on the other 
hand, the crown resembled a great fief, and the great fiefs were univer- 
sally capable of descending to women. And it was scarcely beyond the 
recollection of persons living, that Blanche had been legitimate regent of 
France during the minority of St. Louis. For these reasons it may be 
fairly inferred that the Salic law, as it was called, was not so fixed a 
principle at that time as has been contended. But however this may be, 
It received at the accession of Philip the Long a sanction which subse- 
quent events more thoroughly confirmed. Philip himself, leaving only 
three daughters, his brother Chai-les mounted the throne ; and upon his 
death, the rule was so unquestionably established, that his only daughter 
was excluded by the Count of Valois, grandson of Philip the Bold." — 
Hallam's Middle Ages, vol. i. pp. 43, 44. 

f rhilip, Archduke of Austria, was born on the 22nd of July, 1478. 
He married Joanna, the second daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of 
Spain ; their nuptials were celebrated with great pomp and solemnity in 
the city of Lisle, on the 21st of October, 1496 ; and the first fruit of their 
-narriage was the celebrated Charles the Fifth. Philip succeeded to tlw 
throne of Castile in 1506, and after a reign of two months, he died, jii 
the 25th of September, 15 JO. 



1477.] DEATH OF THE FRINCESS OF BURGUNDY. 17 

reigning: the next year they had a daughter, called Mar- 
garet*, who at present is our queen; the third year they had 
a son, called Francis, after the name of Francisf Duke of 
Bretagne, who was his godfather. The fourth year the 
princess died of a fall from her horse, or a fever | ; but it is 
certain she had a fall, and some say she was pregnant. Her 
death was a great loss to her subjects ; for she was a person 
«)f great honour, affability, and generosity to all people, and 
she was more beloved and respected by her subjects than 

jher husband, as being natural sovereign of their country. 

1 She was tenderly attached to her husband, and of singular 
reputation for modesty and virtue. Her death happened 
in the year 1482. § 

In Hainault the king was possessed of two towns, Ques- 
noy le Comte and Bouchain, both which he restored ; at 
which several persons were highly astonished, knowing his 
aversion to any peace, and how desirous he was to take all, 

* The Princess Margaret had been affianced in her cradle to Chares 
VIII. of France, but their marriage never took place ; and when her 
intended husband espoused Anne of Brittany, she was returned to her 
native land under circumstances of indignity never to be forgotten or 
forgiven by the House of Austria. In 1495 she was betrothed to Prince 
John, the heir of the Spanish monarchy, and on her passage to Spain, in 
1497, to join her husband, she was nearly shipwrecked. She retained, 
however, sufficient composure amid the perils of her situation to indite 
her own epitaph, in the form of a pleasant distich : 

" Ci gist Margot, la gentil' damoiselle, 
Qu'a deux maris, et encore est pucelle!" 

Fortunately, her epitaph was not needed, as she reached Spain in safety, 
and was married to the Prince of the Asturias on the 3rd of April, 1497. 
On the 4th of October, in the same year, her husband died ; and shortly 
afterwards Margaret returned to her native land. She subsequently 
married the Duke of Savoy, who died without issue in less than three 
years ; and Margaret passed the remainder of her life in widowhood 
being appointed by her father, the emperor, to the government of the- 
Netherlands, which she administered with great ability. She died in 
1530. 

t This boy, born at Brussels, on the 10th of September, 1481, died on 
the 26th of December in the same year. 

| She died at Bruges, at about two o'clock in the afternoon, on the 
S7th of March, 1481. — Molinet, ii. 302 

§ Commines is here in error as to the date ; the year 1482 (old style) 
did not begin until the 7th of April, and the princess died on the 27th 
of March. 

VOL. E. C 



18 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1478. 

and leave the house of Burgundy nothing ; and my opinion 
is, if he could have done it undisturbedly, and destroyed or 
divided those territories at his ease, he would not have failed 
to have done so. But, as he told me afterwards himself, he 
surrendered those towns in Hainault for two reasons ; the 
first was, because he thought a prince had more strength 
and importance in his own country, where he was anointed 
and crowned, than he could have out of his dominions ; and 
these towns were not in his territory. The other was, be- 
cause tliere had been solemn oaths and great confederacies 
between the emperors and the kings of France, not to invade 
or usurp upon one another's dominions ; and these above-men- 
tioned places belonging to the empire were restored in the year 
1 4V 8.* Upon the same account Cambray was delivered up, 
or put into a state of neutrality, the king being content to 
lose it ; but the truth is, the inhabitants had received him 
at first upon those terms. 



Ch. III. — How King Louis, by the Management of Charles d'Amboise 
his Lieutenant, recovered many Towns in Burgundy, which the Prince 
of Orange had persuaded to revolt from him. — 1478. 

The war was still carried on in Burgundy ; but the king 
could not accomplish his designs, because the Prince of 
Orange was chosen by the Burgundians to be their lieute- 
nant, and was secretly assisted by the Germans, for the 
sake of his money, and not out of love to Duke Maximilian ; 
for there was not a man in the whole country that espoused 
his interest, at least during the time I speak of. These 
Germans were Swiss troops in search of adventure, and the 
Swiss are neither friends nor well-wishers to the House 
of Austria. The Burgundians had little assistance from 
them, although their pay was good ; and no prince could 
have paid them better than Duke Sigismond of Austria, 
Maximilian's uncle, whose territories lay near, especially the 

* The treaty of Treves, by which the king restored all that he held 
m Burgundy and Hainault, bears date on the 11th of July, 1478. — 
Lehglej-, iii. 540. 



1 478. J CHARACTER Of S1GISMUND. 19 

county of Ferrete, which he had sold, not many years be- 
fore, for ten thousand florins of the Rhine, to Charles Duke 
of Burgundy, and had afterwards repossessed himself of it, 
without returning the money ; and he keeps it now by force. 
Sigismond was never a person of great penetration, nor was 
he very just and honourable in his dealings, and from such 
allies no great assistance is to be expected. He was of the 
number of those princes I mentioned before, who know 
nothing of their own affairs but what their ministers of 
state are pleased to represent ; and they are always re- 
warded for their indolence and supineness in their old age, 
as Sigismond was in this case. 

During these wars his ministers, who had the sole admi- 
nistration of affairs, engaged him on what side they pleased ; 
and for the most part he entered into an alliance with the 
King of France against his own nephew, and in the end 
would have given his hereditary territories (which were 
very large) to a foreign family, and disappointed his own 
relations (for though he had been twice married, he never 
had any issue); but at last, about three years since*, by the 
persuasion of another set of ministers, he conveyed all his 
estates to his nephew Maximilian (at present King of the 
Romans)f, reserving only a pension of about a third part 
of the revenue, without any authority or power ; but, as 
I have been informed, he has often repented of it since; 
and if the story be not true, it is at least very proba- 
ble. And such is the fate of princes who live so carelessly, 
and like beasts; and who certainly are most highly to be 
condemned, upon account of the great responsibility and 
duty that God has laid upon them in this world. These 
errors and imprudent actions are not so much to be laid to 
the charge of weak and stupid princes, as of those who are 
endued with a sufficient share of sense and understanding, 
and yet squander away all their time in pleasure and folly ; 
such princes have no claim on our compassion when any 
misfortune befals them. And, on the other side, those who 
divide their time according to their age, sometimes in 

* Sigismund transferred his hereditary estates to his nephew, the Arch, 
duke Maximilian, in 1492. 

t Maximilian was elected KiDg of the Romans on the 16th February 
U86. 

o a 



20 THE MEMOIRS OF FIIILIP DE COMMINFS. [1478. 

council, and sometimes in festivities and diversions, are 
much to be commended ; and those subjects are happy who 
nave such princes to rule over them. 

The war in Burgundy was carried on for some time by 
help of the little assistance they received from the Germans : 
yet the king's forces were too powerful for them ; for the 
Burgundians wanted money, and their garrisons were cor- 
rupted. The Lord of Craon, who was the king's lieutenant 
in those parts, besieged Dole*, the chief town in the county 
of Burgundy ; which he presumed he should quickly make 
himself master of, upon account of the weakness of the 
garrison"]' : but his confidence proved much to his disadvan- 
tage ; for, being surprised by a sudden sally, he lost some few 
of his men, and a great part of his cannon ; which so 
highly raised the king's displeasure against him, that, being 
vexed at this unfortunate action, he began to think of send- 
ing a new governor into the county of Burgundy, not only 
upon account of this misfortune, but for the great and ex- 
cessive sums of money which had been exacted in those parts. 
However, before the Lord of Craon laid down the command 
of the army, he engaged and defeated a party of Germans 
and Burgundians^, in which action Monsieur de Chasteau- 

* Dole, formerly the capital of Franche-Comte, is a very ancient 
town in the department of Jura, in France. It stands on the right 
bank of the Doubs, and is well placed for trade on the canal that 
joins the Rhone and Rhine. It is pleasantly situated on the £rcst and 
slope of a hill ; the streets are rather steep, but well built, and orna- 
mented with fountains ; and the neighbourhood is prettily laid out in 
gardens, vineyards, and promenades. A ruined aqueduct and amphi- 
theatre, and some remains of the old Roman road from Lyons to the 
Rhine, mark the place as having been a Roman station. After its cap- 
ture by the French, as related in the text, it sustained several remark- 
able sieges. In 1530, it was strongly fortified by the Emperor Charles V., 
into whose hands it had come with the rest of Franche-Comte. In 
1636 it was fiercely, but ineffectually, besieged by the Prince of Conde; 
but Louis XIV. took it in 1668, and again in 1674, when he demolished 
the fortifications. At length, by the treaty of Nimeguen, the town, 
together with the whole of Franche-Comte, was made over to France. 

•f The chief commander in Dole was the Lord of Montballon ; with 
him was a Knight of Berne, with about 900 Swiss ; the garrison con- 
sisted in all of about 2000 fighting men. In their sally, they slew 800 
or 900 of the French. — Molinet, ii. 49. 

+ On the 15th of June, 1478. 



1478.] THE SWISS CONFEDERATION. 21 

guyon * (the greatest lord in Burgundy) was taken pri- 
soner; but besides that, nothing of importance was done 
that day. I speak only by hear-say ; though, if we may be- 
lieve report, the Lord of Craon behaved himself with a great 
deal of valour and intrepidity in that engagement. 

As I was saying, the king, for the reasons above-men- 
tioned, resolved to put a new governor into the county of 
Burgundy ; but not to meddle with the profits or advan- 
tages of the Lord of Craon's places f; he only deprived him 
of his guards, and left him but six men-at-arms, and a dozen 
archers to attend him. The Lord of Craon was grown very 
unwieldy, and retired well satisfied to his country-seat, 
where he lived in great ease and plenty. The king put into 
his post the Lord Charles of Amboise, Lord of Chaumont, a 
valiant, discreet, and diligent officer, who at once endeavoured 
to dissuade the Germans from assisting the Burgundians, 
and to induce them to enter into the king's service (not that 
he valued th/eir service, but in order to facilitate his conquest 
Df the rest of that country.) To this purpose the king sent 
to the Germans or Swiss (whom he styled Messieurs des 
Ligues), and offered them very handsome terms: first, a 
pension of twenty thousand francs, to be paid annually to 
their four chief towns, Berne, Lucerne, Zurich, and I sup- 
pose Fribourg, with their three cantons (or villages upon the 
mountains) Schwitz, which now gives name to the whole 
country, Soleure and Unterwald : secondly, twenty thou- 
sand francs per annum to particular persons, whose assist- 
ance he used in his negotiations ; and he also made himself 
one of their burgesses, and their principal ally, and desired 
it might be declared in writing; but they made some diffi- 
culty of consenting to that, because, from time immemorial, 
the Duke of Savoy had been their principal ally; yet at 
length they consented, and promised to furnish the king with 
a body of six thousand men, to be employed continually in 
his service, upon condition that he should pay to each man 

• Hugh de Chalon, son of William Prince of Orange. 

f This Lord de Craon was at that time Governor of Ohampagn" 
Brie, Burgundy, and Touraine : he was also in possession of the govern 
ment of several cities in France, and chief chamberlain to the king 
besides enjoying the whole revenue of the barony of Craon in Anjoii 
which was his own inheritance. 

C 3 



22 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMUTES. [1478. 

four Rhine florins and a half every month ; and that number 
of Swiss were retained in the king's service till his death. 

A poor prince could not have managed this affair, which 
turned so much to the king's advantage at that time ; though 
I am of opinion, in the end it will be a prejudice to the 
Swiss ; for they are now so used to money (which waa 
scarce with them before), especially gold, that it was like to 
have raised a civil war among them. Otherwise, nothing 
was capable of ruining or doing them any mischief; for 
their country is so poor and mountainous, and the inhabit- 
ants of such a martial temper, that few or none of the neigh- 
bouring princes could think it worth their while to endea- 
vour to conquer them. When these treaties were agreed 
on, and all the Swiss in Burgundy had entered into the 
king's service, the Burgundian power was utterly broken 
and destroyed ; and to bring matters to a conclusion, the 
governor, Monsieur de Chaumont, after performing seve- 
ral notable exploits, besieged Rochefort *, a castle near Dole, 
commanded by Monsieur de Vaudray, and took it by capitu- 
lation. He also besieged Dole (where, as I said before, 
his predecessor had been repulsed), and took it by storm. 
The newly enlisted Swiss designed to have got in and de- 
fended it ; but a body of Frank archers getting in amongst 
them (not with any suspicion of their design, but merely 
from a desire of plunder), when they were entered, all of 
them fell to pillaging, and the town was burnt and de- 
stroyed. 

Not long after he besieged Aussonef , a very strong town ; 
but he held intelligence with the garrison, and wrote to the 
kins for offices for his friends before investing the town ; 
which were readily granted. I was not upon the spot my- 
self, yet I was well informed of what was done ; both by the 
reports which were made to the king, and the letters which 
were sent to him, and which I saw, as I was employed by the 
king to return answers to many of them. Aussone had but 
a small garrison in it, and the chief officers being in treaty 
with the governor, in five or six days the place was surren- 

* Rochefort, in the department of Jura, about four miles from Dole. 

f Auxonne, a fortified town on the Saone, eighteen miles from Dijon ; 
celebrated for its fine bridge and causeway. It surrendered to the king 
on the 4th of June, 1479. 



1478.] SUBJUGATION OK EUROCNDT. 23 

dered ; so that there remained nothing in all Burgundy for 
the king to take possession of, but three or four castles upon 
the mountains, to wit, Jou* and others; and he had the 
obedience of Bezancont, which is an imperial town, not at 
all, or very slightly, subject to the county of Burgundy ; but, 
being seated as it were in the middle of it, paying a sort of 
obedience to the prince of that country. The governor took 
possession of the town, and the inhabitants having paid him 
the homage which they were accustomed to pay to the 
princes who formerly had possession of Burgundy, he im- 
mediately quitted it. After this expeditious manner was 
the whole province of Burgundy subdued; and the king 
watched the business very closely, fearing the governor de- 
sired some place might still hold out, in order to continue 
longer in his command, and not to be moved into another 
country to serve the king upon some other expedition : for 
Burgundy is a plentiful country, and he managed it as if it 
had been his own inheritance, so that the Lord of Chaumont, 
as well as the Lord of Craon, made his fortune there. 

This province for some time continued in peace, under the ad- 
ministration of the Lord of Chaumont ; but afterwards several 
towns rebelled, as BeauneJ, Semur§, Verdun||, and others. 
(I was then present, having been sent thither by the king 
with the pensioners of his household. This was the first 
time the pensioners had any officer to command them, and 
since then they have never been without one.) Which towns 

* Joux, a strong fortress on a high mountain in the department of 
Doubs, was eventually surrendered to the king by the treachery of its 
governor, who sold it to Louis XL for 14,000 crowns. In later times, 
Joux has acquired celebrity as the prison of Fouquet, of Mirabeau, and 
of Toussaint l'Ouverture. 

f Besancon, now the chief town of the department of Doubs, is a very 
ancient city. Julius Caesar mentions it as one of the largest and strongest 
cities of Gaul ; it was then the capital of the Sequani. In 456 it was 
d ivastated by the Burgundians, and in 937 by the Hungarians. From 
1184 to 1664 it was an imperial city ; but in 1668 it was captured by 
Louis XIV., and it has since belonged to France. 

X Beaune, an old Burgundian town in the department of Cote-d'Or, 
23 miles from Dijon. It is now chiefly celebrated for its wines. 

§ Semur, a considerable town in the department of Cote-d'Or, built on 
a granite rock on the left bank of the Arrnancon, 45 miles west ol 
Dijon. 

] Verdun-sur-Saone, in the department of Saone-et-Loire. 

c 4 



21 THfc MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. |"J 478 

were reduced by the wisdom and conduct of our general, 
and the indiscretion of the enemy. By this one may plainly 
gee the vast difference there is between men ; which proceeds 
from the grace of God, who gives wise ministers of state to 
that nation He designs to support, and imparts to the prince 
that governs it wisdom to choose them ; and He has made, 
and does still make it appear, that in all things He will 
maintain our monarchy, not only in the person of our late 
master, but of our present king. Those who lost these 
places the second time were strong enough to have defended 
them, had they assembled their forces sufficiently soon, and 
thrown them into the towns : but they gave the governor 
leisure to draw his troops together; which they ought not to 
have done, for, having intelligence of his strength, and 
knowing the country was entirely in his interest, they ought 
to have thrown themselves into Beaune; which was a strong 
town, and more defensible than the rest. 

The very day on which the governor marched out to in- 
vest a little town called Verdun, upon information of their 
weak condition, the Burgundians entered it, in their march 
to Beaune. They were in all, both horse and foot, six hun- 
dred choice men out of the county of Ferrete, commanded 
by several good Burgundian officers, of whom Simon de 
Quingey was one. They halted at a time when they might 
have got into Beaune ; which, if they had done, the place had 
been almost impregnable ; but for want of good counsel, they 
stayed a night too long, were besieged in Verdun, and taken 
by storm : and after that, Beaune was reduced, and all the 
rest ; the loss of which towns the Burgundians could never 
recover. 1 was at this time with the king's pensioners (as I 
said before) in Burgundy ; from whence I was summoned by 
the king, upon an information he had received that I had 
favoured certain of the citizens at Dijon about the quartering 
of soldiers. This charge, with other little suspicions, was 
the cause why he sent me away very suddenly to Florence.* 

* The Cardinal of Pavia wrote to the Pope : " I know that there i9 
coming to us, on the part of the King of France, an ambassador of high 
esteem in Gaul, with a mission of overweening pride. He is charged to 
threaten us with the withdrawal of the allegiance of the French, and 
with an appeal to a council, if we do not revoke the censures pronounced 
against the Florentines ; if those who murdered Giuliano de' Medici, 



1478.] 



COMMENES GOES INTO IT ALT. 25 



I obeyed him, as in duty bound, and, upon the receipt of his 
letters set out immediately for Italy. 



Ch. IV. — How the Lord of Argenton was sent to Florence during the 
Wars in Burgundy, and how he received Homage of the Duke of 
Milan, in the King's Name, for the Duchy of Genoa. — 1478. 

1 The design of my going into Italy was, to adjust a differ- 

'ence between two illustrious families, very eminent in those 

days. One was the family of the Medicis, the other of the 

Pacistj which last being supported by the Popef, and 

Ferrarid King of Naples J, endeavoured to cut off Laurence 

and those even who abetted his murder, are not punished ; and, finally, 
if we do not abandon the war which we have just commenced." — Sis- 
mondi, xi. 110. 

* The history of the Medici family is too well known to require reca- 
pitulation in this place. The family of the Fazzi was one of the noblest 
and most respectable in Florence: numerous in its members, and pos- 
sessed of great wealth and influence. Of three brothers, two of whom 
had filled the office of gonfaloniere, only one was living at the period 
referred to in the text; and this man, Giacopo de' Fazzi, who was re- 
garded as the chief of the family, though far advanced in years, was, if 
we may credit the account of Folitiano, an unprincipled libertine, who 
having, by gaming and intemperance, dissipated his paternal property, 
sought an opportunity of averting or concealing his own ruin in that of 
the republic. For a full account of the conspiracy of the Pazzi, see 
Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo de Medici, in Bohn's Standard Library. 

f Sixtus iV.,'previously called Francesco da Savona, or Delia Rovere, 
was the son of a fisherman. By his talents he became general of the 
Franciscan order, and afterwards Cardinal. He was elected Pope on the 
9th of August, 1471. "He was the first," says Machiavelli, "who be- 
gan to show how far a pope might go, and how much that which was 
previously regarded as sinful lost its iniquity when committed by a 
pontiff." He died on the 13th of August, 1484, in the seventy-first year 
of his age. 

% Ferdinand I., King of Naples, succeeded to the throne on the death 
of his father in 1458. His claim was contested by John of Anjon, sup- 
ported by many of the chief barons of the kingdom; but Ferdinand sub- 
dued them, and reigned for thirty years, after the discomfiture of his 
competitor, with success and ability. His character was, however, dark 
and vindictive, and his government was m irked by a degree of ill-faitb 
hi, well as tyranny towards his subjects that rendered " l iiin deserved Ij 
odious He died in 1494 



26 THE MEMOIRS OF THILIP DE COMMUTES. [1478, 

de Medicis*, and all his adherents. They failed in their 
design upon Laurence de Medicis; but they slew his brother 
Julian f in tlie great church in Florence X '■> and with him one 
Franquein Noli § , a servant of the house of Medicis, who 
threw himself before Julian in hopes to have saved him. 
Laurence was severely wounded || , but made his retreat into 
the vestry of the church, whose doors were of copper, and 
had been given to the church by his father.^f A servant**, 
whom he had delivered out of prison only two days before, 
did him good service, and received several wounds which 

* Lorenzo de' Medici, surnamed the Magnificent. For a full account 
of this illustrious man, no less celebrated as a politician than as an 
author and patron of science and art, see his Life, by Mr. Roscoe, in 
Bohn's Standard Library. 

t Giuliano de' Medici, a younger brother of Lorenzo, was born in the 
year 1453. Between him and his illustrious brother there subsisted a 
warm and uninterrupted affection. Educated under the same roof, 
they had always participated in the same studies and amusements. 
Giuliano was well acquainted with the learned languages ; he delighted 
in music and in poetry, particularly in that of his native tongue, which 
he cultivated with success ; and, by his generosity and urbanity, he 
gained, in a great degree, the affections of the populace. At the death 
of his father he was associated with his brother Lorenzo in the govern- 
ment of Florence, and he therefore incurred the animosity of the Pazzi. 
He was assassinated on Sunday, the 26th of August, 1478. 

t In the Church of Santa Reparata at Florence, since called Santa 
Maria del Fiore.— Machiavelli, p. 359. (Bohn's Standard Library 
edition.) 

§ Francesco Nori, a most intimate friend of the Medici. — Machia- 
velli, p. 360. 

|| The assassination of Lorenzo de' Medici had been committed, in the 
first instance, to Giovan Battista Montesecco, a distinguished condot- 
tiere in the service of the Pope; and he had willingly undertaken the 
office, whilst he understood that it was to be executed in a private 
dwelling; but he shrank from the idea of polluting the house of God 
with murder. Two ecclesiastics — Stefano da Bagnone, an apostolic 
scribe, and Antonio Maffei, a priest of Volterra — were therefore selected 
for the commission of the bloody deed. Maffei aimed a blow at Lorenzo's 
throat, which took effect behind his neck, and only roused him to defend 
himself. Drawing his sword, he drove off his assailants, and made 
good his retreat to the sacristy. — See Roscoe's Lorenzo dt Medici, pp. 
142 — 144. 

% Piero de' Medici, who died in 1472. 

** This was probably Francesco Nori. — Roscoe, pp. 144. 501. Sis- 
raondi (xi. 97.) mentions two esquires, Andrea and Lorenzo Cavalcanti, 
M having assisted Lorenzo de' Medici to beat off his assailants. 



1478.] CONSPIRACY OF THE PAZZI. 27 

were aimed at Laurence. This assassination was committed 
at the time of high mass; and the moment appointed for its 
execution was when the officiating priest should begin the 
Sanctus. But it fell out otherwise than was designed; for, 
supposing all sure, some of the conspirators* ran to the 
palace to kill the senators who were there! (which senate, 
consisting of about nine persons, has the whole administra- 
tion of the affairs of that city, and is changed every three 
months) ;' but they were ill supported, and having run up- 
stairs into the palace, somebody shut one of the doors behind 
them ; so that when they were got up, there were not above 
four or five of them, and those in such a terrible consterna- 
tion, that they knew not what to say or do. 

The senators and their servants that attended them, per- 
ceiving the astonishment of the conspirators, looked out of 
the windows, saw all the town in confusion, and heard 
Signor James de Pacis -f and his accomplices crying out in 
the palace-yard, " Liberia ! Liberia ! Popolo ! Popolo ! " 
thinking by this means to have stirred up the people to take 
their part ; but they were mightily mistaken, for the mob 
kept themselves very quiet; upon which James de Pacis and 
his adherents, despairing of success, betook themselves to 
flight. The governors and magistrates of the city, who 
were then in the palace, finding how matters went, imme- 

* Francesco Salviati, Archbishop of Pisa, with about thirty followers. 
— Machiavelli, p. 360. 

f Giacopo de' Pazzi was the head of the family of that name, and at 
the time of this conspiracy was far advanced in years. He escaped 
from the city during the tumult; but on the following day he was made 
prisoner by the peasants of liomagna, who, regardless of his entreaties 
to put him to death, brought him to Florence, and delivered him up to 
the magistrates. He was immediately hanged from the palace windows; 
but, in consideration of his rank, his relatives were allowed to inter his 
body in the church of Santa Crocc. " But," says Machiavelli (p. 363), " as 
if to mark the event by some extraordinary circumstance, after having 
been laid in the tomb of his ancestors, he was disinterred like an ex- 
communicated person, and thrown into a hole outside the city walls: 
from this grave he was taken, and with the halter in which he had been 
hanged, his body was dragged naked through the city, and, as if unfit 
for sepulture on earth, was thrown by the populace into the Arno, whose 
waters were then very high." Such was the fate of a man who had en- 
joyed the highest honours of the republic, and for his services to the 
ktate had been rewarded with the privileges of equestrian rani. 



28 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMTNES. [1478. 

diately seized upon the five or six who had got up into the 
room, with a design to murder them and so get command 
over the city, and caused them to he hanged at the bars of 
the palace windows ; and among them was the Archbishop of 
Pisa.* The senators finding the people unanimously declare 
for the House of Medicis, sent immediately to all the passes 
upon the road, to stop and apprehend all persons that were 
found flying, and to bring them before the senate. James de 
Pacis was presently apprehended, and with him an officer j 
of the Pope's, who had the command of a brigade of men-at- 
arms under the Count Hieronymo J, who was concerned in 
the plot. Pacis and his accomplices were hanged from the 
windows, but the Pope's officer had the favour of being be- 
headed. Several more were discovered in the town (and 
amongst them Francisco de Pacis §), and all were hanged 

* Francesco Salviati was appointed Archbishop of Pisa by Pope Six- 
tus IV., in opposition to the wishes of the Signory of Florence, who had 
for some time endeavoured to prevent him from exercising his episcopal 
functions. Hence his hostility to the Medici family. He appears to 
have been totally unfit for his high preferment ; and his last moments, 
if ve may credit Politiano, were marked by a singular instance of fero- 
city. Being suspended close to Francesco de' Pazzi, he seized the 
naked body with his teeth, and relaxed not his hold even in the agony 
of dea'h. — Roscoe, pp. 141. 146. 

f Giovanni Battista de Montesecco. a distinguished captain of Con- 
dottieri in the service of Pope Sixtus IV. 

f. Girolamo Riario was either the son or nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. 
He was dignified by the Pontiff with the appellation of count : and that 
it might not to be an empty title, 40,000 ducats were paid out of the 
papal exchequer for the principality of Imola, which was at once con- 
ferred on him, and to which was afterwards added the dominion of 
Forli. This dilapidation of the patrimony of the Church to aggrandise 
the relatives of the Pope was one of the most scandalous examples of 
what was afterwards called the nepotism of the Court of Rome. Giro- 
lamo Riario married a natural daughter of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of 
Milan ; and was assassinated by three of his subjects, over whom he 
had shamefully tyrannised, on the 14th of April, 1488. 

§ Francesco de' Pazzi, a nephew of Giacopo, seems to have been the 
leader in this conspiracy. He it was who gave the death-stroke to Giu- 
liano de' Medici ; and such was the violence of his rage that, in striking 
his victim, he wounded himself severely in the thigh. He then hastened 
to his house, and endeavoured to mount his horse, in order to ride 
through the city, and call the people to arms ; but he found himself 
unable to do so, from the nature of his wound, and the great effusion 
of blood it had caused. Soon after he was dragged from his bed 
by the infuriated populace, and longed from the windows of the 



1478.] COMM1NES ARRIVES AT FLORENCE. 29 

immediately; so that in the whole I think there were ahout 
fourteen or fifteen persons of quality hanged, besides servants 
who were killed in the town.* 

Not long after this occurrence I arrived at Florence, in 
quality of an agent for the king, having made no stay since 
1 left Burgundy, unless it were two or three days with the 
Duchess of Savoy, our king's sister, who received me very 
graciously | From thence I proceeded to Milan, where I 
continued two or three days likewise, to solicit supplies for 
the Florentines, with whom at that time the Milanese were 
in alliance. The Milanese granted them very freely, because 
it was their duty, as well as the king's request, and sent 
them immediately a reinforcement of three hundred men-at- 
arms, and afterwards a greater number. In short, the Pope, 
immediately upon hearing of this tumult in Florence, ex- 
communicated the Florentines }, and caused his own army, 
in conjunction with that of the King of Naples, to march 
against them. The Neapolitan army was numerous, made a 
fine appearance, and had abundance of brave soldiers in it. 
They first besieged Castellina §, not far from Sienna, and took 
it, witli several other places ; so that it was a great chance 
that the Florentines were not utterly ruined, for they had 
enjoyed a long peace, and were not conscious of their danger. 
Laurence de Medicis, who was the chief man of that city, 
was but young ||, and managed by persons of his own years; 
yet his judgment was of great authority among them. They 
had but few officers, and their army was but small. The 

palace. His brother Renato was also hanged ; and the rest of this de- 
voted family were condemned either to imprisonment or exile ; with 
the single exception of Guglielmo de' Pazzi, who was connected by 
marriage with the Medici family, and spared accordingly. 

« " The executioner," says Sismondi, " did not rest till 200 Floren- 
tines had perished in consequence of the conspiracy of the Pazzi. All 
those who had any relation of blood or connection of friendship with 
them, all those who had shown any opposition to the government, were 
torn from their houses, dragged through the streets, and put to death." 

f The duchess granted liim a contingent of 300 men-at-arms, to as- 
sist the Florentines against the Pope. — Guichenon, ii. 145. 

% The bull of excommunication was dated at Rome, on the 1st of June 

1478. 

§ La Castellina, a fortress about eight mdes from Sienna. 
1 Lorenzo de' Medici was thirty years old at th ; i time • he was born 
on the 1st of January. 1448. 



SO THE MEMOIRS OP PHTLTP I>E OOMMINES. [1478. 

armies of the Pope and King of Naples were commanded in 
chief by the Duke of Urbin *, a wise man and a brave com- 
mander ; with him there were likewise the Lord Robert 
d'Arimini f (who has since become a great man), the Lord 

* Federigo da Montefeltro, second Duke of Urbino, succeeded his 
natural brother Oddantonio, in 1444. His character is thus sketched 
by a writer in the Edinburgh Review (xciv. 348.) : " He was a man for 
whom every human being that becomes acquainted with him is bound 
to express his love and reverence. He himself was of a loving, a re- 
verencing, and a thankful nature. He was a soldier, yet a lover of 
books ; religious, but not bigoted ; energetic, but superior to anger ; 
severely bred, yet cheerful ; voluptuous by temperament, but not by 
habit ; a prince at once magnificent and paternal ; a right gentleman 
and fellow-creature; and, above all, a man true to his word in an age 
of liars. He had the good fortune to receive an excellent education, 
as far as one person could give it. His master understood the training 
both of mind and body. At eight years of age he was affianced, and at 
fifteen he was married. He studied the art of *var under Piccinino and 
St'orza, whose different systems of daring and caution he is said to have 
combined. He had long and successful contests with Sigismund Mala- 
testa, his neighbour, a ferocious dilettante, who committed murders, 
and struck medals. He had also the honour of being excommunicated 
by Pope Eugene the Fourth for adhering to an unfortunate friend ; be- 
came successively Captain-General of the Florentines, of the Duke of 
Milan, and of the King of Naples ; the last of whom he delighted by his 
honesty : was then general hi the service of the Church ; refused to 
break his word with the most faithless of his enemies ; built a splendid 
palace and library, and kept a stately court, which did not hinder him 
from mixing in the pleasantest manner with his people; was chosen 
commander of the first National Confederation, prototype of the mea- 
sure so often since desired by Italians, and so invariably nullified by 
their divisions ; helped to procure for his country, nevertheless, twenty- 
eight years of comparative tranquillity; attended with pomp the convo- 
cation of Pope Sixtus IV., who invested him with the dukedom, and 
married a nephew to his daughter ; received the order of the Garter 
from our Edward IV., which, though truly fit for such a mirror of 
knighthood, was bestowed with an eye to his good offices with the Pope; 
indulged his lovj of scholarship and philosophy, and patronised art and 
science ; rejected with scorn and horror a proposal to aid the Roman 
Court in the r.ssassination of Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother, yet 
thought it no dishonour to conceal the plot from its objects, and to con- 
duct troops against them for his papal employer; found himself, never- 
theless, in a short time fighting on the side of Lorenzo against papal en- 
croachment; and on the 10th of September, in the year 1482, died of a 
fever, caught during a campaign, and rendered fatal by his refusal to 
quit his post." — See Dennistoun's Memoirs of the Dukes of Urbino. 

i Roberto Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, one of the most celebrated 
feaiong the condottieri captains of this period. 



1478.] COMMINES RETURNS TO FRANCE. 31 

Constantine de Pesaro *, and several other officers, with two 
of the king's sons (that is, the Duke of Calabria f, and Don 
Frederick J, botli of them still living), and many other 
persons of quality. They took all places which they besieged, 
but not with the same expedition as we do in France, for 
they were not so well skilled in the art of taking or defend- 
ing a town ; but for encamping and supplying their army 
with provisions, and providing all things necessary for a 
campaign, they understood that better than we do. The king's 
favourable inclination toward them was in some measure 
serviceable to them ; but not so much as I could have wished, 
for I had no army with which to reinforce them beyond my 
own retinue. I stayed in Florence and its territories a whole 
year, and was nobly treated at their expense all the while, 
and with more civility at last than at first § ; but being re- 
called by the king, I returned home. At Milan I received 
homage of John Galeas ||, Duke of Milan, for the duchy of 
Genoa ; which homage was performed to me for my master 
by the duke's mother, in her son's name. After which I re- 
turned to my master, who received me very graciously, and 
admitted me more freely to his affairs than ever before, per- 
mitting me to lie with him, though I was unworthy of that 
favour, and many persons were more deserving of such a 
familiarity than myself. But he was so discreet and saga- 
cious a prince, that no minister of his could possibly mis- 

* Costanzio Sforza, Prince of Pesaro, another eminent condottiere, 
nephew of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. 

f Alphonso II , Duke of Calabria, succeeded his father on the throne 
in May, 1494. On the 23rd of January, 1495, he was forced to abdi- 
cate; and he died on the 19th of November following. 

% Frederic, Prince of Tarento, became King of Naples in 1496, and 
died on the 9th of November, 1504. 

§ It is not surprising that Commines was pleased at his treatment 
by the Florentines, when he took leave of them ; for Ammirato (iii. 
126 ) informs us that, at his departure, the Signory presented him with 
fifty -two pounds weight of wrought silver for the use of his table. 

|| Giovanni Galeazzo Maria Sforza became Duke of Milan on the 
death of his father in 1476. In 1488 he married Isabella, grand- 
daughter of Ferdinand, King of Naples. He died on the 22nd of Octo- 
ber, 1494, at the age of twenty-five ; and the popular belief of the 
time was that he was poisoned by his uncle. At the period referred to 
in the text the youn^ Duke was only nine years old, and it was on ihii 
account that his mother did homage for him. 



32 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1479. 

carry in any negotiation in which he was employed, pro- 
vided he acted directly according to his master's instructions, 
and added nothing of his own. 



Ch. V. -Of the Loid of Argenton's Return out of Italy into France, 
and of the Battle of Guinegaste. — 1479. 

Upon my return from Italy I found the king our master 
somewhat aged, and inclined to be sickly; yet not so much 
as to neglect his affairs, which he managed himself, with 
great prudence. He was still engaged in his wars in Picardy, 
upon which his heart was mightily set, and the enemy would 
have been no less fond of that country, if they could have 
got it into their possession. The Duke of Austria (at pre- 
sent King of the Romans) having that year the Flemings at 
his command, invested Therouenne* ; upon which the Lord 
des Cordes, the king's lieutenant in Picardy, assembled all 
the forces that were in that province, and in the frontier 
towns, together with eight thousand Frank archers, and 
marched to relieve it. Upon news of his approach, the 
Duke of Austria raised the siege, and, advancing to meet 
him, they came to an engagement at a place called G-uine- 
gaste.f The duke had twenty thousand men or more out of 
the country of Flanders, besides some few Germans and 
about three hundred English, under the command of Sir 
Thomas AbriganJ, an English knight, who had been in the 
service of Charles Duke of Burgundy. The king's cavalry, 
who were much more numerous than the duke's, broke them 
immediately, and drove them and their commander, the lord 
Philip of Ravestain, as far as Aire.§ The duke took part in 
the battle with his infantry. || In the king's army there were 

* On Thursday, July 29, 1479. — Molinet, ii. 200. 

f Guinegatte, a small village in the department of the Pas-de-Calais. 
The battle was fought on the 7th August, 1479. A detailed account 
of it will be found in Molinet (ii. 220.). The battle of the Spurs was 
fought on the same ground between the English aud the French in 
1513. — See Home, ii. 589. 

J Elsewhere called Thomas D' Orican or D'Aurican. 

§ Aire, a town on the Lys, in the department of the Pas-de-Calais. 

|| Molinet tells several stories of the duke's prowess in the fight He 
lays that " he charged a man ai-arms so violently that he broke hit 



147y.] BATTLE OF GUINEGASTE. 33 

about eleven hundred men-at-arms of his standing forces. 
They did not all follow the chase, but the Lord des Cordes, 
who commanded in chief, pursued, and Monsieur de Torcy 
with him ; but though they behaved themselves very bravely, 
yet it is not the duty of any commanding officer to follow the 
pursuit. Some of the van-guard and rear-guard retreated, 
under pretence of defending their own towns ; others fled 
downright. The duke's infantry kept their ground, though 
they were vigorously attacked ; but they had with them on 
foot fully two hundred gentlemen, all good officers and brave 
men, to lead them ; and among these were the Count de Ro- 
mont, a son of the house of Savoy, the Count of Nassau *, and 
several others, who are still living The bravery and con- 
duct of these gentlemen kept the whole body together, which 
was very marvellous, after they had witnessed the defeat of 
their cavalry. The king's Frank archers fell to plundering 
the duke's waggons, and all that attended them, sucli as sutlers 
and others ; which being observed, some of the duke's forces 
attacked them, and cut off a great number of them. On the 
duke's side the slaughter was greater, and more prisoners 
were taken than on the king's side, but he remained master 
of the field of battle ; and I am of opinion, that if he had 
marched back immediately to Therouenne, he would not have 
met with the least opposition either there or at Arras : yet 
he durst not venture to make the attempt, which proved 
highly to his disadvantage ; but in such cases no one knows 
always what measures are best to be taken ; and indeed the 
duke had some reason to fear. I speak of this battle only 
by hearsay, for I was not present at it ; but to continue my 
discourse, I found it necessary to mention it. 

I was with the king when he received the news of this 
defeat ; he was extremely concerned at it, for he had not 
been used to lose, but had been so successful in all his enter- 
prises, that it seemed as if everything turned out according 
to his pleasure. Indeed, to speak truth, his judgment and 

lance in three pieces ; after which he knocked down a Frank archer with 
a stick which he had in his hand ; and, finally, he took prisoner a native 
of Brittany named Alexander." 

* Engelbert, Count of Nassau and Vianden, Knight of the Golden 
Fleece, and Governor of Brabant. He was chief chamberlain to Duka 
Maximilian. lie died in 1 504. 

VOL. 11- D 



14 THE MEMOIRS OF 1'HILiP DE COMMINKS. [1479 

penetration in state affairs contributed very much to his 
success: for be would never risk anything, and always en- 
deavoured to avoid a battle ; nor was this fought by any 
positive orders from him. His armies were always so 
numerous, that few princes were able to cope with him, and 
he had a larger train of artillery than any of his predecessors. 
His method was to assemble his troops on a sudden, and 
attack those places that were ill provided and slenderly 
fortified ; and when he had taken them, he immediately put 
into them such a strong garrison, with so much artillery, 
that it was almost impossible to retake them ; and if there 
were any officer in the town able and willing to betray it for 
money, he was sure to have the king for a customer, and 
needed not to be afraid to demand an extravagant sum ; for, 
however exorbitant, his majesty would certainly have paid 
it rather than venture a battle, or undertake a siege. He 
was mightily alarmed at the first news of this battle, suppos- 
ing he had lost all, and that they durst not tell him the whole 
truth ; for he was aware that, had it been an absolute defeat, 
all that he had got from the house of Burgundy in those 
marches and elsewhere, would certainly have been lost, or at 
least placed in very great danger. However, as soon as he 
Avas informed of the whole truth, he was better satisfied, but 
gave orders that, for the future, no battle should be fought 
without his knowledge and consent ; and so he was recon- 
ciled to the Lord des Cordes. 

From this very hour the king resolved to make a treaty of 
peace with the Duke of Austria, but to manage the whole 
negotiation purely to his own advantage; and so to curb the 
duke by means of his own subjects (who, he knew, were 
desirous to clip the wings of his authority), that it should 
never again be in his power to disturb or injure him. He 
was likewise very desirous to make some new regulations in 
the affairs of his own kingdom, particularly in regard to 
delays in processes of law, in order thereby to control the 
court of parliament ; not to diminish their number or autho- 
rity; but there were many things which occasioned his 
hatred against them. He was also desirous to establish in 
his kingdom one general custom as to weights and measures ; 
and that all the laws should he written in French, in one 
book, 60 as to prevent the frauds and prevarications of th« 



1479-] TREATY WITH THE DUKE O v AUSTRIA. 33 

lawyers, which are greater in France than in any other nation 
in Europe, as the nobility have often experienced to their 
cost. And, doubtless, had God graciously permitted him to 
live five or six years longer, without being too much affected 
by disease, he would have done much good to his kingdom; 
and it was but reasonable he should do so, for he had op- 
pressed and tyrannised over his subjects more than all his 
predecessors. But no man's authority or remonstrance could 
persuade him; it must have come of his own accord, as cer- 
tainly it Would, if God had not afflicted him with sickness : 
wherefore it is best to do good while we have time and God 
gives us health. 

The treaty which the king designed to make with the 
Duke of Austria, his duchess, and their dominions, was, by 
the mediation of the Gantois, to make a match between his 
son the Dauphin (who is now our king) and the daughter 
of the duke and duchess, in consideration of which they 
should give him the counties of Burgundy, Auxerroi-:, 
Maconnois, and Chai olois ; and in exchange he would restore 
to them the province of Artois, retaining only the city of 
Arras*, in the same posture of defence as he had put it iu^ 
for the town was of no importance since the new fortifica- 
tions had been added to the city. Before Arras fell into the 
king's hands, the town was much stronger than the city, 
with a large ditch and thick walls between them ; but now 
the city was in a much better posture of defence, and was 
held of the king by the bishop of the place ; contrary to the 
practice of the Dukes of Burgundy (at least for above a 
hundred years), who had always made whom they pleased 
bishop, and put in a governor of the city besides : but the 
king, to increase his authority, proceeded in a quite different 
manner, caused the town walls to be demolished, and new 
ones to be raised about the city, which before (as I said) 
was weaker than the town, with great ditches betwixt them ; 
so that in effect the king gave nothing by the treaty; for 
he that was master of the city could command the town when 
he pleased. There was not the least mention made of the 
duchy of Burgundy, the county of Boulogne, the towns upon 
the Somme, or the chastellanies of Peronne, Roye, and Mon- 

* These projects were afterwards realised bj tho Treaty of Arra% 
toncluded on the 23rd December, 1482. 

V 2 



36 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1479. 

didier. Tlie Gantois were extremely pleased with these 
proposals, and behaved themselves very disrespectfully to 
the Duke and Duchess of Austria; and some of the other 
great towns in Flanders and Brabant were equally importu- 
nate, particularly Brussels; which was very remarkable, for 
Dukes Philip and Charles of Burgundy had always resided 
there, and the Duke and Duchess of Austria had their resi- 
dence there at that very time. But the long ease and 
pleasures that they had enjoyed under the above-mentioned 
princes, made them so far forget both God and their sove- 
reign, that at last they brought down misfortunes upon their 
heads, and occasioned their own ruin, as you shall see. 



Cs. VL — How King Louis was surprised with a Malady that for some 
time took away the Use of both his Senses and Tongue ; how he 
recovered and relapsed several Tiroes, and how he kept himself in 
his Castle at Plessisles Tours. — 1479. 

In the year 1479, in the month of March, a truce was con- 
cluded between the two princes ; and the king was very 
solicitous for a peace, especially in the quarter I have men- 
tioned, provided that it proved very advantageous for his 
affairs. He began now to decline in age, and to be subject 
to infirmity ; and as he was sitting at dinner one day at 
Forges, near Chinon, he was seized on a sudden with a fit 
that took away his speech. Those who were about him took 
him from the table, placed him near the fire, and shut up the 
windows ; and though he endeavoured to get to them for the 
benefit of the air, yet some of them, imagining it for the best, 
kept him away. It was in March, 1480, when this fit seized 
upon him after this manner, which deprived him of his 
speech, understanding, and memory. As soon as you arrived, 
my Lord of Vienne, who were then his physician, you ordered 
him a clyster, and caused the windows to be opened to give 
him fresh air, and he came to himself immediately, recovered 
his speech and his senses in some measure, and mounting od 
horseback, he returned to Forges, for he was taken with this 
tt in a small village about a quarter of a league off, whither 



1*80.] ILLNESS OF KING LOUIS. 37 

he had gone to hear mass. He was diligently attended, and 
made signs for everything he wanted ; among other things, 
he desired the official of Tours to come and take his con- 
fession, and made signs that I should be sent for, for I was 
gone to Argenton, which is about ten leagues off. 

Upon my return I found him at table, and with him 
Master Adam Fumee* (pliysician to the late King Charles, 
and at present Master of the Requests), and Master Claude f» 
another physician. He made signs that I should lie in his 
chamber; he understood little that was said to him, and 
could form no words ; but he felt no manner of pain. I 
waited on him fifteen days J at table, and attended on his 
person like a valet-de-chambre, which I took for a great 
honour, and it gave me great reputation. At the end of two 
or three days he began to recover his speech and his senses ; 
and he fancied no one understood him so clearly as myself, 
and therefore would have me always to attend him. He 
confessed himself to the official in my presence, for other- 
wise they could not have understood each other. There was 
no great matter in his confession, for he had confessed a few- 
days before ; because whenever the kings of France touch 
for the king's evil, they confess themselves beforehand, and 
he never missed touching once every week, and if other 
princes do not the same, I think they are highly to blame, 
for there are always great numbers of sick people to be 
touched. As soon as he was a little recovered, he began to 
inquire who they were who held him by force from going to 
the window ; and being told their names, he banished them 
from court, took away their employments from some of them, 
and never would see them again. From some, as the Lord 
de Segre§, and Gilbert de Grassay, Lord of Champeroux ||, 

* Adam Fumee, Knight, Lord of Roches St. Qtientin in Touraine, 
councillor of the king, Master of Requests in the royal household, and 
Commissioner of the Great Seal of France. He died in November, 
1494. — Anselme, vi. 420. 

f Claude de Molins, physician and councillor to the king. 

j The other editions erroneously say '•forty days." 

§ Jacques d'Espinay, Lord of Segre and Usse, and captain of the 
town of Saint-Macaire, was the son of Richard d'Espinay, one of the 
chamberlains of Francis II., Duke of Bretagne. He was afterwards 
appointed one of the councillors and chamberlains of King Charles VI1L 

U See Vol. I. p. 258. 

» S 



38 THE MKMOIKS OF PHILIP DE COMM1NES. [1480. 

he took away nothing, but banished them from his pre- 
tence. 

Many wondered at this caprice, condemned his conduct, 
and affirmed they had done what, in their opinion, they 
thought for the best ; and they spoke the truth ; but the 
imaginations of princes are ditferent, and all those who 
undertake to account for them are not able to understand 
them. He was afraid of nothing so much as of the loss of 
his regal authority, which was then very great indeed ; and 
he would not suffer his commands to be disobeyed in the 
most trivial point. On the other hand, he remembered that 
his father, King Charles, in the illness of which he died, 
believed that his courtiers intended to poison him, at the 
request of his son ; and this made so deep an impression 
upon him, that he refused to eat, and by the advice of his 
physicians, and of his chief favourites, it was concluded he 
should be forced to eat ; and so, after great deliberation, they 
forced soup down his throat, upon which violence he died. 
King Louis, who had always condemned that proceeding, 
took it very angrily that they should use any violence with 
him ; and yet he pretended to be more angry than he was, 
for the great matter that moved him was an apprehensioa 
that they would attempt to govern him in everything else, 
and pretend he was unfit for the administration of public 
affairs, by reason of the imbecility and unsoundness of his 
senses. 

After he had thus severely handled the persons above- 
mentioned, he made inquiry into what had been done in 
council, and what orders had been made during the ten or 
twelve days he had been sick ; of which matters the Bishop 
of Alby*, his brother the Governor of Burgundy j", the 
Marshal de GieJ, and the Lord du Lude, had the principal 
charge, as they were with him when he fell ill, and all lodged 
under his room, in two little chambers. He also insisted on 
seeing all letters and despatches which had arrived, and those 
also which arrived every hour; they showed him the most im- 

* Louis d'Amboise, Bishop of Alby, was the son of Pierre d'Am- 
boise, Lord of Chaumont. In 1480 he was appointed the king's lieu- 
tenant-general in Burgundy ; and he died in 1505. 

f See Voi. I. p. 34. 

X S«* Vol. I. p. 271. 



1480.] SUPPOSED DEATH OK THE KINO. 39 

portant, and I read them to him. He would pretend to under- 
stand them, take them into his own hand, and make as if he 
were reading them to himself, when in truth he did not un- 
derstand one syllable of them. Yet he would offer now and 
then a word, and make signs what answers should be given ; 
but little business was despatched during his illness, till we 
could see what would be the event; for he was a master 
with whom it was necessary to deal straightforwardly. 
This indisposition continued about a fortnight; at the end of 
which he recovered his speecdi and senses pretty well ; but 
he remained very weak, and in great fear of a relapse, for 
naturally he was not inclined to put confidence in his phy- 
sicians. 

As soon as he was a little recovered, he released Cardinal 
Balue *, whom he had kept a prisoner for fourteen f years, 
though the Pope and other princes had many times inter- 
ceded for his liberation ; of which crime he was absolved 
afterwards by an express bull from his Holiness, which the 
king had earnestly requested. When he was first seized with 
his illness, those who were about him took him for dead, 
and orders were issued for remitting an excessive and cruel 
tax, which, at the instigation of the Lord des Cordes (his 
lieutenant in Picardy), he had lately laid upon his subjects, 
for raising ten thousand foot as a standing force, and two 

* The order for the cardinal's deliverance was in these terms : — " My 
Lord Chancellor, — After dinner assemble the whole council, and deliver 
Cardinal Balue from my hands, and give him up to the Archpresbyter of 
Lodau, in the name of the Legate, who has express commission from our 
Holy Father to receive him : that is to say, I give him into the hands 
of our Holy Father, or to the Legate for him, or to the Archpresbyter 
for the Legate, until he shall come. I have written to him to come with 
all haste, and accordingly I believe he will be at Orleans at Christmas; 
whither you will go, as well as the greatest personages I can find, to 
require justice at his hands. Look to the protestations which you have 
to make after dinner, and give them up when you deliver him. And 
God keep you, my Lord Chancellor. Written at Flessis du Fare, on 
the 20th day of December, 1480." 

t Cardinal Balue was a prisoner for eleven years only, as he was 
arrested in April, 1469. See Vol. I. p. 165. of these Memoirs. Ik was 
confined in an iron cage of his own invention, in which it was impossi- 
ble for him to stand upright, or to stretch himself at length. A special 
cage was made for his reception, at a cost of sixty livres. — DuroNT, ii. 
817. 

D A 



4.K. THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1481. 

thousand five hundred pioneers, who were to be called the 
" Gens du Champ ;" to which force he added one thousand 
five hundred men at arms, of his old standing forces, who 
were to fight on foot upon occasion, among the rest; 
besides which he caused a vast number of tents and pa- 
vilions to be made, and wagons to inclose all, in imita- 
tion of the army of the Duke of Burgundy ; and this 
camp cost him fifteen hundred thousand francs a year.* 
When it was ready he went to review it, in a lar^e 
plain near Pont de l'Arche in Normandy. In this camp 
there were the six thousand Swiss I mentioned before, and 
this number he never saw but this once. From thence 
he returned to Tours, where he was taken with a new fit, 
and lost his speech again, and for two hours everybody 
thought him dead ; he lay upon a straw- bed in a gallery, with 
several people about him: the Lord du Bouchage and I de- 
voutly recommended him to St. Claude, and all that were 
present concurred with our prayers ; and immediately he 
recovered his speech, and walked up and down the house, 
but he was very weak and feeble ; and this second fit took 
him in 1481. He still went into the country as formerly, 
and particularly with me to Argentonf , where he continued 
a month, and was very ill ; from thence he went to Thouars, 
where he was also very sick ; and he then undertook a journey 
to St. Claude, to whom we had recommended him, as you 

* This armament awakened the suspicions of the King of England, 
as is proved by the following letter from Louis XI. to Lord Hastings: 
— " My good cousin, — I have been informed by some merchants of Nor- 
mandy just returned from England, that there is a report in your coun- 
try that I was at Boulogne, and intended to lay siege to Calais. My 
good cousin, as this matter affects me and my honour, I beg you to be so 
good as to tell my cousin your king, that I have no such thought, nor 
will I do or suffer any damage to the smallest village in the territory of 
Calais, and if any one should attempt to injure it, I would defend it 
to the best of my power. And I did not go from Plessis du Pare 
until the 26th day of May ; but I am going to see my camp at Pont de 
l'Arche, which I have not yet seen; and I have ordered the Lord de9 
Cordes and the Picards to be there at the end of this month ; and I 
assure you that this is the truth, and my cousin the king shall find no 
departure from what I have promised him." — Dufont, ii. 219. 

f He was at Argenton in November, 1481 ; at Thouars in the 
months of January aud February following ; and at Saint-Claude in 
ApriL 



1481.] DEATH OF THE DUCHESS OF AUSTRIA. 41 

have already heard. At his departure from Thouars he sent 
me into Savoy, to oppose the Lords de la Chambre*, Mio- 
lansf, and Bresse (though he was privately their friend), 
for having seized upon the person of the Lord de LuyJ in 
Dauphiny, whom he had recommended to be governor to his 
nephew, Duke Philibert. He sent a considerable body of 
troops § after me, whom I led to Macon against Monsieur de 
Bresse ; however, he and I were agreed underhand. Having 
taken the Lord de la Chambre || in bed with the Duke of 
Savoy at Turin, in Piedmont, he gave m^ notice of it, and I 
caused our soldiers to retire ; for he brought the Duke of 
Savoy to Grenoble, where the Marshal of Burgundy, the 
Marquis de Rothelin, and myself, went to receive and com- 
pliment his highness. The king sent for me to meet him at 
Beaujeu, in Beaujolois. I was amazed to find him so thin and 
weak, and wondered how he had strength enough to bear the 
fatigue of travelling as he did ; but his great spirit carried 
him through all difficulties. 

At Beaujeu he received advice that the Duchess of Austria 
was dead of a fall from her horse. She had been set upon a 
hot-headed young nag, that threw her down against a piece 
of timber, which was the occasion of her death. Others said 
she died of a fever, not of her fall ; but be it as it may, she 
died not many days after, to the great detriment of her friends 
and subjects ; for after her death they never had peace or 
prosperity. The people of Ghent and other towns had a 
greater love and respect for her than her husband, as she 
was their natural sovereign. This misfortune happened in 

* Louis, Count of La Chambre and Leville, and Viscount of Mau- 
rienne, in Savoy. 

■}• Louis de Myolans, appointed Marshal of Savoy in 1478. 

I Philibert de Grolee, Knight, Lord of Huis, councillor and chamber- 
lain of Louis XL, and Governor of Lyons. 

§ Two hundred Frank archers of the King's guard. 

|| " The Count de Bresse, being informed of the king's intention, 
proceeded to Turin at daybreak on the day before St. Sebastian's day, 
the 19th of January, 1480, accompanied by Thomas de Saluces, brother 
of the marquis. They entered the Castle of Turin, and went into the 
duke's bed chamber, where the Count de la Chambre was sleeping ; 
whom Thomas de Saluces, by command of the Count de Bresse, seized 
laying, 'You are prisoner of the King of France}' and he had hin. 
pat in prison." — Gikcbekou, ii. 42. 



42 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. "1482, 

the year 1482.* The king told me the news with a great 
deal of joy and satisfaction ; being extremely pleased that the 
two children')" were under the tutelage of the Gantois, who 
(he knew) were inclined to any mischief that might weaken 
the power of the house of Burgundy; and now he thought 
this was the time to attempt something, because the Duke of 
Austria was young, with his father still living, involved in 
war on every side, a stranger, and his forces very weak, 
because of the covetous temper of his father the emperor. 

From that time the king began to deal with the Gantois 
by means of his agent the Lord des Cordes, about the mar- 
riage of his son the dauphin with the Lady Margaret, the 
duke's daughter, who is at present our queen. The Lord 
des Cordes applied himself in this affair to one AVilliam 
Ryn $, pensionary of the town (a cunning, subtle man), and 
to Coppenol §, the town-clerk, who was a hosier, and a 
person of gi'eat reputation among the people, who, in times 
of trouble, are soonest wrought upon by such folk. 

The king returned to Tours, and kept himself so close, 
that very few were admitted to see him ; for he was grown 
marvellously jealous of all his courtiers, and afraid they 
would either depose him, or deprive him of some part of his 
authority. || He removed from about him all his old servants, 

* On the 27th of March. Her feminine delicacy was so great, that 
she preferred to die rather than allow a surgeon to examine her 
wounds. 

t Margaret and Philip. See pp. 16, 17. 

j William Kyn, appointed tenth echevin of Ghent in 1476, and 
town councillor in 1482 ; beheaded on the 8th of August, 1484. 

§ John Coppenolle, a hosier of Ghent, "a man of no better condi- 
tion than William Ryn, and nevertheless appointed steward to the king 
of France, with a pension of six hundred francs a year." He was be- 
headed at Ghent on the 11th of August, 1491. 

|| " He immured himself," says Sir Walter Scott, " in his castle of 
Plessis, intrusting his person to the doubtful faith of his Scottish mer- 
cenaries. He never stirred from his chamber ; he admitted no one into 
it ; and wearied Heaven and every saint with prayers, not for the for- 
giveness of his sins, but for the prolongation of his life. With a poverty 
of spirit totally inconsistent with his shrewd worldly sagacity, he im- 
portuned his physicians, until they insulted as well as plundered him. 
B idily health and terrestrial felicity seemed to be his only object. Mak- 
ing any mention of his sins when talking on the state of his health 
was strictly prohibited ; and when at his command, a priest recited a 



M82.] policy of ciiarles vn. 43 

especially if they had nny extraordinary familiarity with iiiin ; 
but lie took nothing from them, and only commanded them 
to retire to their posts or country seats: but this lasted not 
kmg, for he died soon after. He did many odd things, which 
made some believe his senses were impaired ; but they knew 
not his character. As to his suspicion, all princes are prone 
to it ; especially those who are wise, and who have many 
enemies, and have offended many people, as our master had 
done. Besides, he knew he was not beloved by the nobility 
of the kingdom, nor by many of the commons; for he had 
taxed them more than any of his predecessors, though he 
now had some thoughts of easing their burdens, as 1 said 
before ; but he should have begun sooner. King Charles VII. 
was the first prince who (by the assistance of several wise 
and good knights, who had served him in the expulsion of 
the English out of Normandy and Guienne) gained that point 
of laying taxes upon the country at his pleasure, without the 
consent of the three Estates of the kingdom ; but then his 
occasions were great, as it was indispensable to secure his 
new conquests, and to disperse the free companies who were 
pillaging the kingdom. Upon which the great lords of 
France consented to what the king proposed, upon promise 
of certain pensions in lieu of the taxes which were to be 
levied upon them. 

Had this king lived long, and kept with him those who were 
then of his council, without dispute he would by this time 
have enlarged his dominions very considerably; but, consi- 
dering what has already occurred, and what is likely to follow 
upon it, he has laid a great load both upon his own soul, 
and the souls of his successors, and has given his kingdom 
a cruel wound, which will bleed a lonjj; time ; namely, by 
establishing a terrible band of paid soldiers, in imitation of 
the princes of Italy. King Charles at his death had laid 
taxes upon all things in his kingdom, amounting to one 
million eight hundred thousand francs, and maintained about 

prayer to St. Eutropius, in which he recommended the kind's welfare 
both in body and soul, Louis caused the two last words to be omitted; 
(dying it was not prudent to importune the blessed saint by too many 
requests at once. Perhaps bethought, by being silent on his crimes, he 
Blight sutt'er them to pass out of the recollection of his celestial patrons, 
whose aid he invoked for his body." 



44 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINE9. [1482. 

one thousand seven hundred men at arms, constantly in pay, 
and in the nature of guards, to preserve the peace, and 
secure the provinces of the kingdom ; by which means, for a 
long while before his death, there was no free quarter, nor 
riding up and down the country, which was a great ease 
to the people. At the death of our master, he raised an- 
nually four million seven hundred thousand francs ; and 
had about four or five thousand men at arms, and above 
twenty-five thousand foot soldiers ; so that it is no wonder 
if he entertained such jealousies and fears of his subjects, 
and fancied he was not beloved by them. Yet he made 
one very great mistake : he had no confidence in those 
who had been brought up and received their preferments 
under him ; of whom he might have found many that would 
have died before they would have forsaken him in anything. 
In the first place, nobody was admitted into the Plessis 
du Pare (which was the place where he resided) but his 
domestic servants and his archers, who were in number 
four hundred, some of whom kept constant guard at the 
gate, while others patrolled continually about to prevent its 
being surprised. No lord nor person of quality was per- 
mitted to lodge in the castle, nor to enter with any of his 
retinue ; nor, indeed, were any of them admitted but the 
Lord de Beaujeu, the present Duke of Bourbon, who was 
his son-in-law. Round about the castle of Plessis he caused 
a lattice of iron bars to be set up, and spikes of iron to be 
planted in the wall, with several points projecting along the 
ditch, wherever there was a possibility for any person to 
enter. Besides which, he caused four watch-houses to be 
made of thick iron and pierced with holes, out of which his 
archers might shoot at their pleasure ; and these were a very 
clever invention and cost above twenty thousand francs ; in 
them he placed twenty of his crossbow men, who were upon 
guard night and day, with orders to fire upon any man that 
ventured to come near, before the opening of the gate in the 
morning. He also persuaded himself that his subjects 
would be apt to divest him of his power, and take the ad- 
ministration of affairs upon themselves, when they saw their 
opportunity ; and, indeed, there were some persons about 
the court that consulted together how they might get into 
the Plessis, and despatch affairs according to their own 
wishes; but they durst not attempt it, and they acted 



1482.] TREATY OF ARRAS. 45 

wisely, for the king had provided against every attack. He 
often changed his bed-chamber attendants, and all the rest 
of his servants, alleging that nothing was more agreeable to 
nature than novelty. For conversation he kept only one or 
two with him, and those of inferior condition, and of no great 
reputation; who, if they had been wise, would have clearly 
seen that as soon as he was dead, the best they could expect 
would be to be turned out of all their employments ; and so 
it happened. Those persons never acquainted him with 
anything that was sent or written to him, unless it concerned 
the preservation of the State, or the defence of the kingdom ; 
for he concerned not himself for anything, but to live quietly 
and peaceably with all men. He gave his physician * ten 
thousand crowns a month, and within the space of five 
months he received of his majesty above fifty-four thousand. 
He also gave large estates to the church ; but this gift was 
never ratified, for the church was thought to have too much 
already. 

A Treaty between Louis XI. of France, and Maximilian 
Duke of Austria, as well for himself as his Children, 
made at Arras, December 23. 1482. 

1. There shall be a perpetual peace, union, and alliance 
between the king, dauphin, and kingdom, their countries, terri- 
tories, and subjects on the one part ; and Duke Maximilian of 
Austria, Duke Philip, and the Lady Margaret of Austria, 
his children, their countries, territories, and subjects, on the 
other; laying aside all rancour and enmity towards one 
another, and any or all manner of injuries, either in word 
or deed. 

2. For the more firm establishing of the peace, a treaty of 
marriage is agreed to between the dauphin, the king's son 
and heir-apparent to the crown, and the Lady Margaret 
of Austria, only daughter of the said duke, and of the 
late Mary of Burgundy, only daughter of Duke Charles of 
Burgundy, to be solemnised when the said lady shall be of 
fit age. 

3. As soon as the peace is proclaimed, the said lady shall 

• His physician in ordinary was named Jacques Coitier. He also 
held the office of Vice President of the Cham bre des Comptes, of which 
he became President in 1482. He died on the 29th of October. 1506. 



e Si THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1482 

forthwith be conducted to Arras, and be put into the hands 
of Monsieur de Beaujeu, or another prince of the blood 
authorised by the king for that purpose ; and the king shall 
take care to bring her up as his eldest daughter, the wife of 
the said dauphin 

4. Upon the delivery of the said lady, Monsieur de Beau- 
jeu shall swear solemnly, in the presence of the princes and 
lords who shall conduct her, in the king's name, that the 
dauphin, when she comes of age, shall take her in marriage, 
and proceed to the consummation of the same. 

5. The like oath Monsieur de Beaujeu shall take in the 
name of the dauphin, being authorised thereunto by the 
king, upon tiie account of his youth. 

6. In consideration of this marriage, the Duke of Austria 
and the states of his country, agree in their own names, and 
in that of Duke Philip, that the countries of Artois, Bur- 
gundy, the lands and signories of Maconnois, Auxerrois, 
Salins, Bar-sur-Seine, and Noyers, shall be given in dower 
with her to the dauphin, to be enjoyed by them, their heirs 
by that marriage, whether male or female, for ever ; but in 
failure thereof, to return to Duke Philip and his heirs. And 
seeing these countries, and the greatest part of the province 
of Artois, are at present in the king's possession, it is agreed 
they shall be the dowry and inheritance of the said lady, 
to be enjoyed by the dauphin her intended husband, and 
her heirs. But in case those countries should come into any 
other hands than those of the dauphin and the issue 
of this marriage, the king, dauphin, and their successors, 
kings of France, may in that case retain the said counties 
of Artois and Burgundy, with the other signories, till the 
king's pretensions to Lisle, Douay, and Orchies are deter- 
mined. And in case they are not adjudged to return to 
him, he and his successors shall pretend no right to them ; 
but the earls and countesses of Flanders shall enjoy them 
as formerly. Moreover, as soon as the said lady shall arrive 
at Arras, she shall be there received and declared Countess 
of Artois and Burgundy, and lady of the other territories. 

7. From thenceforward the said county of Artois, except 
the castle and bailiwick of St. Omer, shall be governed ac- 
cording to its ancient rights and privileges, as well the cities 
as the oren country, by and in the name of the dauphip 



1482.] TREATY OF ARRAS. 47 

her future husband ; and the domain and revenue, with the 
administration of justice, and other privileges, shall appertain 
to him. 

8 The same thing shall be done in respect to the county 
of Burgundy and the other signories. 

9. The king, at the request of the said duke and states, shall 
restore Arms to its ancient government, under the admini- 
stration of the dauphin, by appointing officers for that pur- 
pose ; the king is content that the dauphin shall do so. 

10. As to the town, castle, and bailiwick of St. Omer 
(which is in the province of Artois), it is comprehended 
with the said county of Artois in the dower or' the said 
Lady Margaret, and so shall be forth witli delivered into the 
possession of the dauphin, upon the completing and consum- 
mation of the marriage with her. 

11. The guarding and government of the said town, 
castle, and bailiwick from henceforward is to be put into the 
hands of the inhabitants, in order to be given up to the 
dauphin upon the consummation of his marriage ; and they 
shall make solemn oath before the king or his commissioners, 
that during the minority of the lady they will not deliver 
them up to the Duke of Austria, Duke Philip, or their agents. 

12. The like oath shall be taken by them to the Duke of 
Austria, that they shall not deliver them up to the king, 
dauphin, or their agents, during the minority, and till the 
consummation of the marriage. 

13. For the better support of the town, the domain 
thereof, &c, shall be applied towards it during the mi- 
nority ; neither shall the town and bailiwick pay the tax 
called the Ordinary Aid of Artois. 

14. As to the appointing of officers, such as bailiff, &c, 
the duke, as father of the lady, shall have the nomination 
during the said time, and the dauphin, as her intended hus- 
band, the institution : but if the said lady should happen to 
die before the consummation of the marriage, the inhabitants 
shall restore the town, with its appendages, to the Duke of 
Austria, and Duke Philip, his son, or successors. 

15 The privileges of the town shall be maintained, and 
justice administered in the same manner as formerly ; and 
the estates of the place shall take care to provide lor the 
guard of it. 



48 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1482. 

16. As to the neighbouring forts and castles, the lords of 
them shall bind themselves not to Injure, but to assist them 
in defence of the same. 

17. If a war should break out between the kins and the 
duke, they shall not intermeddle, or receive a garrison from 
either. 

18. It shall be free for the inhabitants of all conditions to 
go and traffic, or otherwise, into France, or the dominions 
of the Duke of Austria, and other neighbouring kingdoms 
and countries. 

19. Upon the surrendering of the town to the dauphin 
and the Lady Margaret, upon their marriage, those princes 
shall make oath to maintain it, as a member of the county 
of Artois, and the county of Artois, in all its privileges, as 
their predecessors the counts and countesses of Artois have 
done, without innovation in the government there. 

20. The king resigns the provision made for the town 
by the late Duchess of Austria, and the duke her husband, 
for the discharge of the debts and rents due from it. 

21. The king and the dauphin oblige themselves to pay 
the debts contracted by the duchess, the Duke of Burgundy 
her father, and their other predecessors, by mortgaging the 
revenues of the said county. 

22. The yearly pensions assigned by the duchess, Duke. 
Charles, &c, upon the domain of the said counties and 
signories of Burgundy and Artois, shall be continued. 

23. In consideration of this lady's dowry, the king and 
dauphin renounce all claims and pretensions upon the 
duchies, counties, goods, moveables and immoveables what- 
soever, remaining after the death of the duchess, the lady's 
mother. 

24. In case, upon the account of death, or otherwise, the 
said marriage should not be consummated, the dowers, and 
the said counties and signories shall be restored to the Duke 
of Austria ; but at the same time with a salvo to the kind's 
pretensions to the towns and chastellanies of Lisle, Douay, 
and Orchies. 

25. If, after the consummation of the marriage, the 
dauphin should die (whether he leaves children or not by 
the said lady), she shall enjoy the counties of Artois and 
Burgundy as her portion, and withal fifty thousand livres of 



1482.] TREATY OF AKUAS. 49 

Tournay yearly as dower, assigned to her in Champagne, 
Berry, and Touraine. 

26. If she should happen to die before the Dauphin, the 
children shall succeed in those territories that are her portion; 
and in case there are no children, they shall revert to the 
next heirs. 

27. Neither the King nor Dauphin shall, during the mi- 
nority of Duke Philip, claim to have the government of 
the said countries of Brabant, Flanders, &c, but shall leave 
them in the condition they are now in. 

28. If Duke Philip should die under age, and the said 
lady becomes his heir, the King and Dauphin shall agree 
that the government of the said countries shall continue upon 
the same footing. 

29. In case Duke Philip die without issue of his body, and 
that his dominions fall to his sister and her heirs, who shall 
also be heirs to the crown of France, the King and the 
Dauphin shall engage that the said countries shall be main- 
tained in all their ancient rights and privileges. 

30. The King's sovereignty over the country of Flanders 
is acknowledged by the Duke and the States, and Duke 
Philip, when he comes of age, shall do homage for the same 
in the usual form. 

31. The King confirms all the ancient and modern pri- 
vileges of the three members of Flanders, and particularly 
the towns and corporations of the country of Flanders, the 
towns and chatellanies of Lisle, Douay, and St. Omer. 

32. The inhabitants of Antwerp shall also have their 
privileges maintained. 

33. Customs and tolls shall be paid as usual. 

34. Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, widow of the late 
Duke Charles, is comprehended in this treaty, and she shall 
have the full enjoyment of the lands of Chaussins and La 
Pierriere, upon the repaying of twenty thousand crowns in 
gold to the country of Burgundy ; and in case, by the death 
of the young duke, those countries should come into the 
hands of France, she shall be maintained fully in her dower, 
and find all kind assistance, as a cousin and relation, from 
the King and Dauphin. 

35. A general act of indemnity is agreed to on both 
sides, in as ample manner as could be desired by offenders. 

VOL. IL S 



W) THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1482. 

36. The subjects and adherents of botli parties shall be 
reinstated in their dignities, benefices, fiefs, lands, sig- 
niories, and other inheritances, rents, &c, without being 
called in question for any thing that happened during the 
war, and notwithstanding any declarations, confiscations, and 
arrests, to the contrary whatsoever. 

37. If the inheritances of any persons who followed the 
fortune of the adverse party have been sold in court for the 
payment of their debts, they shall forthwith re-enter upon 
the peace, and pay their debts within a year after ; if not, 
the order of court shall stand. 

38. In case the debts were purely personal, for which the 
inheritance of the followers of the opposite party have been 
sold, the debtor shall return to his inheritance, without 
making any compensation to the purchaser. 

39. The subjects on both sides shall return to the pos» 
session of their immoveable goods, as well before the troubles 
begun in Duke Charles's time, as after. 

40. As to the profits and income of estates, which have 
been levied by the commanders of the respective parties, 
those that received them shall never be accountable for 
them, and no prosecution in law, upon that account, shall 
take effect against them. 

41. All personal debts granted by the princes, or pur- 
suant to their order, shall be theirs who had the grant of 
them. As to all other moveables in being upon the peace, 
they shall belong to those that had them before the war, 
without any molestation or any impediment whatsoever. 

42. The town of St. Oiner and its dependencies, are fully 
discharged of all rewards, remissions, &c, which have been 
granted them. 

43. The Duke of Austria and his children are, by this 
treaty, fully discharged of all debts they may owe to those 
who adhered to the contrary party, and they and their 
descendants shall never be molested for them. 

44. Upon returning to their possessions, nobody shall 
take any oath to the prince or lord under whom the said 
possessions are, saving vassals and feoffees. 

45. The widow of the late Peter of Luxemburg, and the 
ladies Mary and Frances, her daughters, shall be restored 
to their estates, as well thuse which they enjoyed in the 



1 482. J TREATY OF ARRAS. 51 

lifetime of Lewis de Luxemburg, Count of St. Paul, Madame 
Jane de Bar his wife, and John de Luxemburg, Count of 
Marie, their eldest son. In like manner, Monsieur de Croy, 
Count of Porcien, is restored particularly to the County of 
Porcien, the granaries belonging to the castle of Cambarsay, 
Montcornet, and other appanages, in the signiory of Bar- 
eur-Aube, and other places in Picardy. 

46. The King shall favour the Count de Romont, in his 
pretensions to the county of Romont, and the county of 
Vaux ; and as for the Princes and Princesses of Orange, 
the Count of Joigny, Liepart de Chalon, the Lord of Lorme, 
Messieurs William de la Beaume, Du Lain, Claude de Tou- 
longeon, and the Sieur de la Bastie, they are comprehended 
in this peace, and shall be re-instated. 

47. In like manner, the monks of Anchin are restored to 
their abbey ; so are those of the church and abbey of St. 
Wast d' Arras, and the inhabitants of Arras, Avhether they 
have withdrawn into the one or the other prince's country, 
shall freely return home, and follow their respective occu- 
pations, without any let or hindrance, as before the war. 

48. The heirs of those who have been put to death for 
adhering to the party opposite to him under whom they 
lived, shall return to their estates and succeed. The widows 
also of such shall have their rights and dowries. 

49. As to persons enjoying their own, they shall not be 
obliged to go and reside where their estates are, either in 
the one or the other countries. 

50. The King consents to free the county of Artois, the 
towns of Arras, Aire, Lens, Bapaume, Bethune, their vil- 
lages, and the chastellany of Lilliers, from the tax called 
the ordinary aid of Artois, and all other extraordinary aids, 
for the space of six years, from the day of the date of the 
peace: and seeing the late Duchess of Austria hath ex- 
empted the hospitals of Douay, &c, from paying any taxes 
to the county of Artois for their inheritances, the King and 
Dauphin confirm the same privileges. 

51. Those who shall return to their possessions shall not 
be accountable for any rent due during the war; and the 
lands which, by reason of the war, have been untilled, shall 
have no rent paid for them till next Christmas. 

52. Those who, at their entry upon fiefs and inheritances, 

■ 2 



C2 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINK3. [14d2. 

are obliged to pay fines and other duties to their lords, shall 
have three months allowed them to do it, after the peace, 
and so remain unmolested. 

53. Tlie nobility and feoffees of the territories of the 
Duke of Austria, and his son Philip, shall not be obliged to 
serve under any but them, or their lieutenants ; and in case 
that they, or one of them, should be in the King's service, if 
they are not there in person, the other shall not be obliged 
to serve in person, but may send another. 

54. The decrees and sentences made in the court of 
Malines, as also of the grand council of the Dukes Philip 
and Charles, the Duchess Mary and the present duke, shall 
stand good, and not be brought into question before the 
Parliament of Paris, or any other sovereign court. But 
those suits and clauses which are not yet decided in the 
said courts, shall be brought before the Parliament of Paris, 
and there be determined. 

55. In like manner, mortmains, compositions, new acquests, 
and ennoblings, made by the said dukes and duchess, shall 
remain good ; only the subjects of the county of Artois 
shall be obliged to take new patents for their nobility, 
which shall be granted without any charge to them. 

56. The abolitions, remissions, and pardons, granted by 
Duke Charles, his daughter, and the dukes of Austria, to the 
counties of Flanders, Lille, Douay, Artois, and Burgundy, 
shall be valid ; only the subjects of Artois shall sue them out 
as before. 

57. The inhabitants on the frontiers of the duke, and 
others subject to the French crown, cited to appear in per- 
son in the court of Parliament, or before the royal judges, 
shall appear only by their proctors, during the minority of 
the said lady ; and the same privilege is granted to St. Omer. 
Those preferred to livings by Duke Charles, his daughter, &c, 
shall remain in quiet possession of them, notwithstanding any 
pretence of a pragmatic sanction, or the like, to the contrary. 

58. Tournay, Tournesis, St. Amand, and Mortagne, are 
comprehended in this treaty ; and any places the King may 
have in the duchy of Luxemburg, shall be restored to the 
Archduke, and his son Philip ; so shall also the houses of 
Flanders, and of Conflans, and the house of Artois in the 
eaid country. 



14S2."| TREATY OF ARRAS. 68 

59. After the lady shall be delivered into the hands of 
those appointed to receive her for the Dauphin, the troops, 
for the benefit of trade, shall be withdrawn by the King 
from the little places on the frontiers; and for the larger 
ones, the garrisons shall be regulated to the satisfaction of 
the Duke of Austria, and the States of the country. 

60. As for the Duke's desiring to have the King of Eng- 
land and Duke ofBretagne comprehended in the treaty, it 
is answered, "the English are in truce with France, and for 
the Duke ofBretagne, the King is at peace with him." 

61. The King, after the peace, will assist the duke against 
William of Aremberg, the Liegeois, and all others that shall 
invade Brabant, &c. 

62. The Duke's subjects shall have all manner of protec- 
tion and encouragement, in respect to navigation and com- 
merce, equally with those of France. 

63. Any prizes taken after the publication of the peace 
shall be restored, for the prevention whereof, the peace shall 
on both sides be proclaimed without delay. 

64. Such as are malefactors and delinquents, after the 
peace, shall be seized on both sides, and returned to be 
punished by the parties to whom they belong. 

65. The infractors and violators of this peace, be they 
who they will, shall be punished unfeignedly for an example 
to others, in the places where they are taken. 

66. In case this peace should in any way be contravened, 
it shall not be reputed an infraction or rupture ; but the 
breach shall forthwith be made up, and reparation made, 
without coming to hostilities either by sea or land, before 
the King and the Duke's ambassadors have met together to 
adjust the difference in an amicable way. 

67. It is agreed, that as soon as the said lady is brought 
to Lisle or Douay, and before she be conducted to Arras, 
the promises and sureties which follow shall be given the 
Duke and States. That in case the Dauphin do not ac- 
complish the marriage in due time, the said lady shall be 
returned, at the King's or Dauphin's charge, to her father or 
brother, in one of the good towns of Brabant. Flanders, or 
Hainault, in the Duke's possession ; and the King and 
Dauphin, in that case, shall quit all pretensions for keeping 
the territories and countries of Artois, Burgundy, Charolois, 

a 3 



54 THE MEMOIRS OK PHILIP DE COMMINE8. [1482. 

Majonnois, Auxerrois, the lordships of Salins, Bar-sur- 
Seine, and Noyers, and surrender them to the Duke in the 
name of his son Philip, while under age, or to Philip when 
of age, reserving only the homage and sovereignty to him. 

68. The King shall also, upon the failure of the marriage, 
renounce his right to Lisle, Douay, and Orchies, and consent 
they shall belong for ever to the Counts and Countesses of 
Flanders. 

69. The signing, sealing, and ratifying of all the premises 
in ample and due form, shall be done by the parties on 
either sides. The treaty shall also be registered and verified 
in the court of the Parliament of Paris, and in the Chambers 
of Accompts, and of the Finances. 

The rest of the articles being mere matter of form, con- 
cerning the observation of the treaty, are omitted. 



Ch. VII. — How the King sent for the Holy Man of Calabria to 
Tours, supposing he could cure him; and of the strange Things that 
were done by the King, during his Sickness, to preserve his Autho- 
rity.— 1482. 

Among men renowned for devotion, King Louis sent into 
Calabria for one Friar Robert*, who, for the holiness and 
purity of his life, was called the " Holy Man ;" and in honour 
to whom our present King erected a monastery at Plessis-du- 
Parc, in compensation for the chapel near Plessis at the end 

* In previous editions it is erroneously stated that the name of this holy 
man was Friar Robert; but there can be no doubt, that the personage al- 
luded to in the text was St. Francis de Paulo, the founder of the Minims, 
or lowest order of monks. He was born at Paulo in Calabria in the year 
1416. He began his career by retiring to a cave on a desert part of 
the coast, where his sanctity soon obtained for him many followers, who 
ere long constructed a monastery round his cell. His rule was ex- 
tremely rigorous; he enjoined his disciples to abstain from wine, fish, and 
meat, never to sleep on a bed, to go always barefooted, and to practise 
many other bodily mortifications. He died in France, on the 2nd of 
April, 1507, at the age of ninety-one, and he was canonised by Pope 
Leo X. in 1519. By the confession of his admirers, he was perfectly 
illiterate. 



I4S2.] THE nOLY MAN OF CALABRIA. 53 

of the bridge.* This hermit, at the age of twelve years, was 
put into a hole in a rock, where he lived until the age ot 
three and forty years and upwards, when the King sent for 
him by a steward of his household f, in the company of the 
Prince of Tarento, the son of the King of Naples. For this 
hermit would not stir without leave from his Holiness, and 
from his king, which was great discretion in a man so inex- 
perienced in the affairs of the world, though he had built 
two churches in the place where he lived ; and he never had 
eaten flesh, fish, eggs, milk, or any thing that was fat J, since 
he undertook thatf austerity of life, nor has he yet ; and truly 
I never saw any man living so holy, nor out of whose mouth 
the Holy Ghost did more manifestly speak; for he was not 
illiterate, though he had never been taught ; only his Italian 
tongue was a great assistance to him. 

This hermit passed through Naples, where he was re- 
spected, and visited (with as much pomp and ceremony, 
as if he had been the Pope's Legate) both by the King of 



* By letters patent, dated on the 6th of May, 1491, Charles VIII. 
ordains " that the furniture, vestments, and ornaments which decorate 
the chapel of St. Matthew in the lower court of his house at Plessis, 
and which belong to Francis de Paulo and his companions, shall be re- 
moved to the place where, at their prayer and request, he has recently 
caused a church to be built for them, behind the enclosure of the park 
of Montils, and dedicated to Jesu Maria." 

f Guynot de Boussiere, or Guynot de Lauziere, as he is called in a 
letter from Louis XL to Francis de Genas, superintendent of the fi- 
nances. The letter is as follows: — "Mr. Superintendent, — The seneschal 
of Qucrcy, Guynot de Lauziere, who brought to me the good holy man, 
complains that you have deprived him of half of his pension, which 
amounts to 600 livres tournois, and that you told him I had ordered it. 
which I did not, and never intended to do. And I assure you I am not 
pleased with you, wherefore take care (and fear to disobey me), that as 
soon as you sec these letters, the matter may be entirely settled, and the 
pension paid in such a manner that I may hear no more about it; for 
if you fail to obey, you shall be lodged in the hands of my Lord of 
Alby; and from this time forth, and until he is satisfied, I detain in my 
hands the wages and pensions which you receive from me. Written at 
l'lcssis du Fare, on the 15th day of May, 1482." — Dupont, ii. 229. 

I Another letter from Louis XI. to Francis de Genas illustrates the 
holy man's mode of life : — " Mr. Superintendent, — I beg you to send me 
Bonie limes and sweet oranges and muscadcl pears and water melons, for 
the holy man who cats neither flesh nor fish: and you will thereby give 
me very great pleasure. Written at Clery on the 29th of June, 1483." 

£ 4 



56 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIILIP DE COMMOTES. [1482 

Naples and his children, with whom he conversed as if he 
had been all the days of his life a courtier. From thence he 
went to Rome, where he was visited by all the cardinals, 
had audience three times of the Pope, and was every time 
alone with him three or four hours, sitting beside him in a 
rich chair (which was great honour for a person of his low 
condition), and answering so discreetly to everything that 
was asked him, that everybody was astonished at it, and 
his Holiness gave him leave to institute a new order, called 
the Hermits of St. Francis. From Rome he came to our 
king *, who paid him the same honour as he would have 
done to the Pope himself, falling down upon his knees 
before him, and begging him to prolong his life : to which 
he replied as a prudent man ought. I have heard him often 
in discourse with the present king, in the presence of all the 
nobility of the kingdom, and that not above two months 
ago ; and it seemed to me that whatever he said or remon- 
strated, was suggested by inspiration, or else it would have 
been impossible for him to have spoken of some things that 
he discoursed of. He is still living, and may grow either 
better or worse, and therefore I will say nothing. There 
were some of the courtiers that made a jest of the king's 
sending for this hermit, and called him the Holy Man, by 
way of banter; but they knew not the thoughts of that wise 
king, and had not seen what it was that induced him to 
doit. 

Our king was at Plessis, with little company but his 
archers, and the suspicions I mentioned before, against which 
he had carefully provided ; for he allowed no person, of whom 
he had any suspicion, to remain either in the town or 
country ; but he sent his archers not only to warn, but to con- 
duct them away. No business was communicated to him 
but what was of great importance, and highly concerned him. 
To look upon him one would have thought him rather a dead 
than a living man. He was grown so lean, it was scarce 
credible: his clothes were now richer and more magnificent 
than they had ever been before ; his gowns were all of 
crimson satin, lined with rich martens' furs, of which he 
gave several away, without being requested ; for no person 
durst ask a favour of him, or scarce speak to him of any 

* He arrived at the castle of Plessis on the 24th of April, 1482. 



1482 | STRANGE CONDUCT OP THE KING. 



57 



thing. He inflicted very severe punishments to inspire 
dread, and for fear of losing his authority, as he told me 
himself. He removed officers, disbanded soldiers, retrenched 
pensions, and sometimes took them away altogether ; so that, 
as he told me not many days before his death, he passed his 
time in making and ruining men ; which caused him to be 
talked of more than any of his predecessors, and he did this 
that his subjects might take notice he was not yet dead ; 
for few were admitted into his presence (as I said before), 
and when they heard of his vagaries, nobody was willing to 
believe he was sick. 

He also sent agents to all foreign courts. In England, 
their business was to carry on the treaty of marriage *, and 
pay King Edward and his ministers of state their pensions 
very punctually. In Spain, their instructions were to amuse 
that court with fair words, and to distribute presents as 
they found it necessary for the advancement of his affairs. 
In remoter countries, where he had no mind his indisposi- 
tion should be known, he caused fine horses or mules to be 
bought at any rate whatever ; but tins was not done in 
France. He had a mighty curiosity for dogs f, and sent 
into foreign countries for them; into Spain for mastiffs; 
into Bretagne for greyhounds and spaniels ; to Valentia for 
little shaggy dogs ; and bought them at a dearer price than 
the people' asked. He sent into Sicily to buy a mule of an 
officer of that country, and paid him double the value. At 
Naples he bought horses ; and purchased strange creatures 
wherever they could be found, such as a sort of lion? from Bar- 
bary | no bigger than foxes, and which are called adits. He 
sent into Sweden and Denmark for two sorts of beasts those 

* The marriage of the Dauphin with the Princess Elizabeth of 
England. 

t The accounts of Jehan Ragnier for the year 1479 inform us that 
he gave " to a Portuguese, who had brought some dogs to the King, 
six gold crowns; to an Englishman, who brought him a great dog, ten 
gold crowns; to a man who brought him a little dog, one crown; to six 
men who brought him some live hares, thirty crowns." 

{ In 1482, a sum of 1G0 livres was paid to Master Mace Bastard, for 
the expenses of a journey he had made into Provence, by the King's 
order, " to await the coming of certain galleys with strange and savage 
beasts, and other things, which the King had ordered to be brought from 
the countries of Barbary." — Eontameu, 142. 



6$ THE MK3IOIU8 OF PHILIP DE COMBINES. [1482, 

countries afforded ; one of them called an elk, of the shape 
of a stag, and the size of a buffalo, with short and thick 
horns ; the other, called reindeers, of the shape and colour 
of a fallow deer, but with much larger horns ; indeed I have 
seen reindeers with fifty-four horns ; for six of each of 
which beasts he gave the merchants four thousand five hun- 
dred Dutch florins.* Yet, when all these rarities were 
brought to him, he never valued them, and many times would 
not so much as see the persons who brought them to him. 
In short, he behaved himself after so strange a manner, that 
he was more formidable, both to his neighbours and subjects, 
than he had ever been before ; and indeed that was his 
design, and the motive which induced him to act so unac- 
countably. 



Ch. VIII. — Of the Conclusion of the Marriage between the Dauphin 
and Margaret of Flanders, and how she was brought into France; 
upon which Edward IV., King of England, died with displeasure. — 
1482-3. 

But to return to our principal design, and to the conclusion 
of these Memoirs, and the affairs of all the illustrious per- 
sons of the age in which they were transacted, it is abso- 
lutely necessary for us to speak of the conclusion of the mar- 
riage between our present king (then Dauphin of France) 
and the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Austria, 
which was effected by the mediation of the citizens of Ghent, 
to the great displeasure of the King of England, who found 
himself deluded in the hopes he had entertained of marrying 
his daughter to the Dauphin, of which marriage both himself 
and his queen were more ambitious than of any other match 
in the world ; and never would believe any man, whether 
subject or foreigner, that endeavoured to persuade them that 
our king's intentions were not sincere and honourable. For 

• In the accounts of Pierre de Lailly for the year 1479, the following 
entry occurs: - " To Bernard More, an Easterling merchant, 750 livres, 
as agreed upon, for bringing to the King six beasts named elks, three 
males and three females, and six others named reindeer, also three mulea 
and three females." — Dupont, ii. 234. 



1482.] CONFERENCE AT HALOTS. 59 

the Parliament of England had remonstrated to King 
Edward several times, when our king was in Picardy, that 
after he had conquered that province he would certainly fall 
upon Calais and Guynes, which are not far off. The 
ambassadors from the Duke and Duchess of Austria, as also 
those from the Duke of Bretagne, who were continually in 
England at that time, represented the same thing to him, but 
to no purpose ; for he would believe nothing of it *, and he 
suffered greatly for his incredulity : yet I am entirely of 
opinion his conduct proceeded not so much from ignorance as 
avarice, for he was afraid to lose his annual pension of fifty 
thousand crowns, which our master paid very punctually ; 
and, besides, he was unwilling to leave his ease and pleasures, 
to which he was extremely given. 

There was a conference held at Halots, in Flanders, about 
this marriage, at which the Duke of Austria (now King of 
the Romans) was present, with several commissioners from 
the three Estates of Flanders, Brabant, and other territories 
belonging to the Duke and his children. There the Gan- 
tois did several tilings contrary to the Duke's inclination ; for 
they banished his officers, removed old servants from about his 
son, told him their desire to have the marriage concluded, in 
order to establish peace, and forced him to an accommodation, 
whether he would or not. The Duke was very young, and 
but scantily provided with sense ; for all belonging to the 
house of Burgundy were either slain or revolted to France, 
or at least the greatest part, I mean of such as were capable 
of advising him ; so that coming thither with a small 
retinue, and having lost his duchess, who was sovereign in 
those provinces, he durst not speak so boldly to his subjects 
as when she was alive. In short, the King was informed of 
all these proceedings by the Lord des Cordes, and was very 
well pleased ; and a day was set for the young lady to be 
conducted to Hesdin. 

A few days before, in the year 1481, Aire was delivered 
up, for a sum of money f, to the Lord des Cordes, by the Lord 

* He was probably satisfied by the letter of Louis XL to Lord 
Hastings. See p. 40. 

t Aire surrendered on the 28th July, 1482. It was sold by the Lor 1 
de Cohea tor an annual pens' on of ten thousand crowns. — Molinex, iu 
3Uf, 



6C THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES [1482, 

de Coliem (a gentleman of Artois), who had held it under 
his captain, the Lord de Beurs*, for the Duke of Austria, a 
good while. The surrender of this town, which was very 
strong, and situated in Artois, at the very entrance into their 
country, helped the Flemings to hasten the marriage, for 
though they were well enough pleased at the diminution of 
the Duke's power, yet they did not care to have the King so 
near them upon their frontiers. As soon as measures were 
concerted, as I said before, ambassadors were sent to the 
King from Flanders and Brabantf ; but all depended upon 
the Gantois, by reason of their strength, and because the 
Duke's children were in their hands, and they were always 
the most forward in every commotion. With them there came 
in behalf of the King of the Romans, certain young noble- 
men much about his own age, and but indifferently qualified 
to make terms of peace for their country ; Monsieur John 
de BerghesJ was one, and Monsieur Baudouin de Lannoy§ 
was the other, besides some few secretaries. Our king was 
then very ill, and had no inclination to be seen, and pre- 
tended great difficulty about swearing to the treaties in the 
manner agreed on ; but it was only because he was unwilling 
they should see him. However, he swore to them at last, 
which wasmuch to his advantage ; for whereas in all his former 
overtures for the match, lie demanded only the county of 
Artois or Burgundy, or whichever of the two they pleased 
to assign him: now, the States of Ghent (as he called them) 
were contented he should have both, and the counties of 
Maconnois, Charolois, and Auxerrois, into the bargain; and 
if they could have delivered Hainault, Namur, and all the 
subjects of that family who speak the French language, 



* Philip of Burgundy, Lord of Bevres and La Vere, councillor and 
chamberlain of Maximilian, King of the Romans, Knight of the Golden 
Fleece, and Governor of Artois. 

f These ambassadors arrived at Paris on Saturday, the 3rd of 
January, 1483, and proceeded on the following Monday to Amboise, 
where the King was then residing. — Lenglet, ii. 168. 

£ John de Berghes, knight, Lord of Cohen and Olhain, and governor 
of the town of Aire for the Archduke Maximilian. 

§ Baudoin de Lannoy, second of the name, Lord of Molembrais, 
Knight of the Golden Fleece, chamberlain and steward of the Archduke 
Maximilian. He died on the 7th of May, 1501. 



1483.] RECEPTION OF MARGARET OF FLANDERS. 61 

they would willingly have done so, on purpose to weaken 
their sovereign. 

Our master was a cunning politician, and understood well 
enough that Flanders was of little importance to him, unless 
he could have Artois with it, which lies betwixt France and 
them, and is as it were a bridle to the Flemings, affording 
good soldiers upon occasion, to correct their wantonness and 
folly ; and therefore in taking from the Earl of Flanders the 
county of Artois, he would leave him the most inconsider- 
able prince in Europe, without either subjects or authority, 
except by the permission of the Gantois; whose commis- 
sioners, William Ryn and Coppenole, whom I mentioned 
before (governors ol* Ghent), were at that time principal in 
the embassy. Upon the return of the ambassadors, the 
Lady Margaret was conducted to Hesdin, and delivered into 
the hands of the Lord des Cordes, in the year 1483, and 
with her came Madame de Ravestain, Duke Philip of Bur- 
gundy's natural daughter, and they were received by the 
present Monsieur and Madame de Bourbon*, the Lord 
d'Albretf, and others from the king; and they brought 
her to Amhoise, where the dauphin met her.} If the Duke 

* Anne of France, daughter of Louis XI. and Charlotte of Savoy, 
married Pierre de Bourbon, Lord of Beaujeu, in 1474, and assumed the 
title of Duchess of Bourbon in 1488. She died on the 14th of November, 
1522, after having governed the kingdom with great prudence and 
energy during the minority of Charles VIII. 

f Alain le Grand, son of Jean d'Albret, Viscount de Tartas, suc- 
ceeded his grandfather Charles II. in 1471. He married Frances, daugh- 
ter of Jean de Blois, Count of Penthievre ; and in virtue of this mar- 
riage, set up a claim to the duchy of Brittany, and became a competitor 
for the hand of Anne of Brittany. He died in October, 1522. 

J Margaret was then three years and a half old, and the Dauphin 
rather more than twelve. Their meeting took place on Sunday, the 
22nd of June, 1483, at a place called Metairie le Payne, near Amboise. 
"The Dauphin," says a contemporary letter, "left the Castle of Am- 
boise, dressed in a robe of crimson satin, lined with black velvet, and 
mounted on a hackney, and attended by thirty archers. At the bridge 
he dismounted, after having saluted the ladies, and changed his 
dress and put on a long robe of cloth of gold. . . Presently the 
Dauphiness arrived, and descended from her litter ; and immediately 
they were betrothed by the prothonotary, nephew of the Grand Sene- 
schal of Normandy, who demanded of the Dauphin in a loud voice, so 
that all could hear him, If he would have Margaret of Austria in mar- 
riage ? and he answered, Yes ; and a similar question was put to th« 



62 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP HE COMMINES. [1483. 

of Austria could have taken her from her convoy, he would 
willingly have done it before she left his dominions ; but the 
Gantois had placed too strong a guard about her, for they 
had begun to abate much of their obedience to him, and 
many considerable persons joined with them, as having the 
custody of the young heir, and power of placing and dis- 
placing whom they pleased. Among the nobility who were 
resident in Ghent, there was the Lord of Ravestain, brother 
to the Duke of Cleves, and chief governor to the young 
prince, whose name is Philip, still living, and like to possess 
vast territories, if it please God to spare his life. 

But whoever was pleased with this match, the King of 
England was highly affronted ; for he thought himself dis- 
graced and baffled, and in danger of losing his pension or 
tribute, as the English called it. He feared likewise it 
would render him contemptible at home, and occasion some 
rebellion, more especially because he had rejected the re- 
monstrances of his council. Besides, he saw the King of 
France ready to invade his dominions with a very great 
force; which made such a deep impression upon his spirits, 
that he fell sick immediately upon hearing the news, and 
died not long after, though some say he died of a catarrh 
But let them say what they please, the general opinion was, 
his grief at the consummation of this marriage, caused the 
illness which killed him in the month of April, 1483.* It 

Dauphiness, who gave the same answer. Upon which, they joined 
hands, and the Dauphin kissed the Dauphiness twice ; and then they 
returned to their lodgings. And the streets of Amboise were hung 
with cloth, and in the market place was a figure of a Siren, who spouted 
forth white wine and red from her breasts." The next day, the young 
couple went through the ceremony of marriage in the chapel of the cas- 
tle. — Dupont, iii. 345. 352. 

* King Edward IV. died on the 9th of April, and the Dauphin's 
marriage did not take place until the 22nd of June, more than two 
months later ; so that the supposition of Commines that he died of 
pndef at the disappointment of his own daughter, who had long been 
contracted to the Dauphin, is evidently erroneous. His dissolute mode 
of life renders it exceedingly probable that he died of a surfeit, accord- 
ing to the popular report. " He was a princ V says Hume, " mora 
splendid and showy than either prudent or virtuous ; brave, thought 
3rucl ; addicted to pleasure, though capable of activity in great emer- 
g inrica, and les6 fitted to prevent ills by wise precautions, than to re- 
medy them after they took plate, by his vigour and enterprise. ' 



1483.] DEATH OF EDWARD IV. OF ENGLAND 63 

is a great fault in a prince to be obstinate, and rely more 
upon his own judgment than on the opinion of his council; 
and sometimes it occasions such losses and disappointments 
as are never to be repaired. 

Our King was quickly informed of King Edward's death i 
but he expressed no manner of joy upon hearing the 
news. Not long after, he received letters from the Duke of 
Gloucester, who had made himself king*, styled himself 
Richard III., and barbarously murdered his two nephews.f 
This King Richard desired to live in the same friendship 
with our king as his brother had done, and I believe would 
gladly have had his pension continued; but our king looked 
upon him as an inhuman and cruel person, and would neither 
answer his letters nor give audience to his ambassador; for 
King Richard, after his brother's death, had sworn alle- 
giance to his nephew, as his king and sovereign, and yet 
committed that inhuman action not long after : and, in full 
Parliament, caused two of his brother's daughters to be 
degraded and declared illegitimate, upon a pretence which 
he justified by means of the Bishop of Bath, who, having 
been formerly in great favour with King Edward, had in- 
curred his displeasure, was dismissed, imprisoned, and fined 
a good sum for his releasement.f This bishop affirmed, 
that King Edward being in love with a certain lady whom 
he named, and otherwise unable to have his desire9 of her, 
had promised her marriage ; and caused the bishop to marry 

* Richard III. did not assume the title of King until the 26th of June, 
1483, after the death of his nephew Edward V. 

f Molinet (ii. 402.) gives the following account of the murder of the 
princes : " The eldest was simple and very melancholy, aware of the 
wickedness of his uncle, but the youngest was joyous and witty, nimble, 
and ever ready for dances and games ; and he said to his brother, who 
wore the order of the garter, ' My brother, learn to dance :' and his 
brother answered, ' It would be better for us to learn to die, for I think 
we shall not long remain in the world !' They were prisoners for 
about five weeks ; and Duke Richard had them secretly slain by the 
captain of the Tower. And when the executioners came, the eldest was 
asleep, but the youngest was awake, and he perceived their intention, 
and began to say, ' Ha ! my brother, awake, for they have come to kill 
vou.' Then he said to the executioners, ' Why do you kill my brother? 
kill me, and let him live.' But they were both killed ; aud their bodies 
cast into a secret place." 

X See notes, vol. i. pp. 395, 396. 



64 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMTNES. [1483. 

them, upon which he enjoyed her person, though his promise 
was only made to delude her ; but such games are dangerous, 
as the effects frequently demonstrate. I have known many 
a courtier who would not have lost such a fair lady for want 
of promises. 

This malicious prelate smothered this revenge in his heart 
near twenty years together, but it recoiled upon himself, for 
he had a son, of whom he was extremely fond, and to whom 
King Richard designed to give a plentiful estate, and to 
have married him to one of the young ladies whom he had 
declared illegitimate (who is now Queen of England, and 
lias two fine children). * This young gentleman being on 
board ship by commission from King Richard, was taken upon 
the coast of Normandy, and upon a dispute between those that 
took him, he was brought before the Parliament at Paris, put 
into the Petit Chastellet, and suffered to lie there till he was 
starved to death. This King Richard himself lived not long, 
no more did the Duke of Buckingham f, who had put the two 
children to death, for King Richard himself, a very few days 
afterwards, ordered his execution ; and against King Richard 
God on a sudden raised up an enemy J, without power, with- 
out monej', without right to the crown of England §, and 
without any reputation but what his person and deportment 
obtained for him ; for he had suffered much, and had been, 
from the eighteenth year of his age, prisoner in Bretagne 
to Duke Francis, who treated him as kindly as the necessity 
of his imprisonment would permit. The King of France 
having supplied him with some money, with about three 
thousand Normans, the loosest and most profligate persons in 
all that country, he passed into Wales, where his father-in- 
law, the Lord Stanley, joined him with twenty five thousand 

* Arthur, born on the 20th of September, 1486, and Margaret, born 
in 1488. 

f Molinet (ii. 403) also asserts that Buckingham was implicated in 
the murder of the princes ; but there is no evidence to be found in sup- 
port of the statement, which rests probably on the fact that the duke was 
a prominent supporter of Richard's usurpation, and was therefore 
likely to have been concerned in the assassination of his nephews. 

J The Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII. 

§ Richmond was considered as representing the line of Lancaster by 
right of his mother, Margaret Beaufort, who was daughter of a Duke of 
Somerset, and a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt. 






1483.] PROSPERITY OF KINO LOUTS. 65 

men at the least; in three or four days' time he met cruel 
King Richard, who was slain on the held of battle ; and he 
was crowned King of England, and reigns at this present 
time.* I have discoursed on this subject already, but it is 
not improper to mention it again, it' only to show that God 
in our times has taken vengeance for such cruelties imme- 
diately, without delaying his judgments. Several other 
princes besides have met with the same reward of their 
villanies, in our days ; but who could enumerate them? 






Ch. IX. — How the King behaved towards his Neighbours and Sub- 
jects during his Sickness; and how several Tilings were sent him from 
several Tarts, for the Recovery of his Health. — 14S3. 

Aftkr the consummation of this marriage, which our King 
had so earnestly desired, the Flemings were perfectly at his 
command : Bretagne (which he hated so bitterly) was at 
peace with him, but he kept them in great awe and terror 
by the number of his forces, which he quartered upon their 
frontiers. Spain was quiet, and her king and queen de- 
sired nothing more than to live in peace and amity with him, 
for he kept them, likewise, in perpetual fear and expense 
about the country of Roussillon, which he held of the 
House of Arragon, and which had been given him bv John 
King of Arragon, father to the present King of Castile, as 
security for some conditions "j" which have never yet been 
performed. The princes of Italy all courted his friendship; 

* Henry left Harfleur on the 1st of August, 1485, with an army of 
about 2,000 men, and landed at Milford Haven on the 7th of August. 
He met with little opposition in Wales, and at Shrewsbury he was joined 
by Sir Gilbert Talbot and all his vassals. Marching onwards, through 
the midland counties, he came up with his rival at Bosworth, in Leices- 
tershire, on the 22nd of August. Henry was at the head of 6,000 men, 
and Richard had an army of above double the number. But during 
the action Lord Stanley joined Henry with 7,000 men, and decided the 
battle in his favour. 

f By letters dated on the 23rd of May, 1462, the King of Arragon 

pledged the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne to Louis XI. for the 

sum of 300,000 golden crowns, on condition that Louis should supply 

him with a sufficient number of troops to reduce Catalonia, and to carry 

n the war in Arragon and Valencia. These countius were restored to 

vol. n. v 



6b TIE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. j_ 1 483. 

and some of them had entered into alliance with him, and 
sent ambassadors often to his court. In Germany the Swiss 
were as obedient to him as his own subjects. The Kings 
of Scotland* and Portugal f were his allies. Part of Na- 
varre X was perfectly at liis disposal. His subjects trembled 
before him ; whatever he commanded was instantly executed, 
without the lea?t difficulty or hesitation. 

Whatever was thought conducible to his health §, was sent 
to him from all corners of the world. Pope Sixtus|| (who 
died lately) being informed of the King's illness, and that he, 
in his devotion, desired to have the corporal, or vest, which 
the Apostle St. Peter used when he sung mass, sent it im- 
mediately, and several relics^f besides, which were returned 
to him. The holy vial at Rheims, which had never been 
moved before, was brought to his chamber at Plessis, and 
stood upon his buffet when he died, for he designed to be 
anointed with it again, as he was at his coronation. Some 
were of opinion that he designed to have anointed himself 
all over, but that was not likely, for the vial is but small, 
and there is no great store of oil in it.** I saw it myself at 

Castile by the Treaty of Barcelona, signed on the 19th of January, 1493. 
— Prescott's Ferdinand and Isabella, vol. ii. p. 249. 

* James III. See note, Vol. I. p. 398. 

•j- John II., son of Alphonso V., King of Portugal. He succeeded to 
the throne in 1481, and died on the 25th of October, 1495. It was to 
him that Columbus first submitted the theory on which he had founded 
his belief in the existence of a western route; but the foolish monarch 
refused his patronage to the adventure. 

X Navarre was then divided by two opposing factions; that of Queen 
Catherine, the niece of Louis XL, and that of the Viscount of Narbonne, 
who wished to gain possession of the crown. It is to the former of these 
parties, doubtless, that Commines alludes. 

§ Amon^ other things, he tried aurum potabile, and paid dearly for 
it, though it does not seem to have done him much good. 

|| Sixtus IV. died on the 13th of August, 1484. See note, p. 25. 

^1 Nor was this the full extent of the Pope's benevolence. He sent 
two briefs to Francis de Paulo, ordering him to pray for the rcstorstior 
of the King's health, under penalty of excommunication in case of refusal. 
— Ratnaldus, xix. i9. 

** The supposition of Commines is correct: the King did not dare to 
ask, in the first intance, to be entrusted with the phial itself. " Dear 
and well-beloved," he wrote to the Abbot of St. Remy at Rheims, on the 
17th of April, 1483, "we should much wish, if it were possible, to have 
a little drop from the Holy Ampulla; wherefore we pray you to consult 



1483.] PRESENTS FOR THE KING'S RECOVERY. 67 

the time 1 speak of, and also when our Lord the King was 
interred in t lie church of Notre Dame de Clery. * The 
Great Turk J that now reigns, sent an ambassador J to him, 
who came as far as Riez, in Provence ; but the King would 
not hear him, nor permit him to proceed any farther, though 
he brought him a larjre roll of relics which had been left at 
Constantinople in the hands of the Turk ; all which, and a 
considerable sum of money besides, he offered to deliver into 
the king's hands, if he would keep guard over a brother § of 

and inquire whether a little could be taken from the phial in which it is 

contained, without sin or danger." This humble and modest request 
having been refused, Louis XI. had recourse to the authority of the 
Pope, from whom he obtained the desired permission. Three commis- 
sioners, the Bishop of Seez, the Governor of Auvergne, and the Lord 
ie la Heuze, were sent to fetch the Holy Ampulla from Rheims. It was 
escortod into Paris, on the 31st of July, 1843, with great pomp; and on. 
the following day it was taken to the King. 

* Notre Dame de Cleiy, a pretty little town on the left bank of the 
Loire, nine miles from Orleans. 

t Bajazet II., son of Mahomet II., succeeded his father in 1481 ; and 
was dethroned and died in 1512. 

J The name of this ambassador was Hussein. — Hammer, iii. 361. 

§ Djem, or Zizim, brother of Bajazet II., on hearing of his father's 
death, resolved to make a vigorous effort for the empire; but rinding 
that his forces were far inferior to those of his brother, he applied to the 
Knights Hospitallers at Rhodes for assistance, who resolved to concede 
his demands, and Kent a squadron to escort him to Rhodes, where he was 
received with all the honours due to a powerful sovereign. Bajazet, in 
great alarm, hastened to negotiate a treaty with the Order; the Knights, 
however, dared not violate the laws of hospitality by giving up Zizim; 
but the Grand Master concluded a secret compact with the Sultan, in 
which, for the annual pension of 45,000 ducats, he engaged to detain 
the prince a prisoner. The subsequent fate of the unfortunate captive 
was truly calamitous. He was held in durance for a long time in France, 
constantly mocked with false, hopes, until Pope Innocent VIII. bribed 
the Grand Master D'Aubusson with a cardinal's hat to resign to him the 
guardianship of his profitable prisoner. In 1489 Zizim was removed 
to Rome, where he was tormented by frequent proposals to change his 
religion, all of which he peremptorily rejected. When Alexander Borgia 
ascended the papal throne, he sent an embassy to the Sultan, demanding 
the continuation of the pension for the custody of Zizim, and offering 
also to put him to death lor 300,000 ducats, paid in one sum. Before an 
answer could arrive from Constantinople, the Pope was forced to resign 
his prisoner to Charles VIII., King of France; but Borgia soon procured 
the death of the unfortunate prince by poison. After ten years' captivity 
»uioug Christians, h: was murdered in 1495. 

*• 2 



68 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMLNES. H482. 

tlie Turk's, who was then in France, in the custody of the 
Knights of Rhodes, and is now at Rome, in the hands of 
the Pope. From all which one may be able to judge of the 
wisdom and greatness of our King, and of the great esteem 
and character he bore in the world, when spiritual things, 
dedicated to devotion and religion, were employed for the 
lengthening of his life, as well as things temporal and 
secular. But all endeavours to prolong his life proved in- 
effectual ; his time was come, and he must needs follow his 
predecessors. Yet in one thing God Almighty favoured 
him in a peculiar manner, for, as he had made him more 
prudent, liberal, and virtuous in all things than the contem- 
porary princes, who were his neighbours and enemies, so he 
coffered him to survive them, though not for a very long 
;ime. For Charles Duke of Burgundy, the Duchess of 
Vustria his daughter, King Edward of England, Duke Ga- 
reas of Milan, and John King of Arragon, were all dead a 
few years before him; but King Edward and the Duchess 
of Austria died very shortly before his decease. In all of 
them there was a mixture of bad as well as good, for they 
were but mortals. But, without flattery, I may say of our 
King, that he was possessed of more qualifications suitable 
to the majesty and office of a prince than any of the rest, 
for I had seen most of them, and knew the extent of their 
abilities. 



Ch. X. — How Kin? Louis sent for his Son Charles a little before his 
Death; and the Precepts and Commands which he laid upon him and 
others. 

In the year 1482 the King desired to see the Dauphin his 
son, whom he had not seen for several years; for besides his 
being of opinion that it was better for his son's health to 
have but few come near him, he was afraid lest he should 
be taken out of his management, and made the occ ision 
for some conspiracy against him, as had been done by himself 
against his father, King Charles VII., when, at eleven* years 
of age, he was taken away by some lords of the kingdom, 

* Louis XI. was nearly seventeen years old at the time of the Pr*« 
gueric, having been born in July, 1423. 



1483.] THE KING SENDS FOR HIS SOK. 61 

and engaged in a war called the Praguerie*, which lasted 
not long, and was merely a court faction. 

Ahove all things, he recommended to the Dauphin cer- 
tain of his servants, and laid his commands expressly upon 
him not to change any of his officers, declaring that upon 
the death of his father Charles VII., and his own accession 
to the throne, he had imprudently dismissed all the good 
officers of the kingdom, hoth military and civil, who had 
assisted his father in the conquest of Normandy and Guy- 
enne, served him in the expulsion of the English, and con- 
tributed much to the restoration of peace and tranquillity 
throughout the kingdom ; which rash method of proceeding 
proved highly to his prejudice, for it was the foundation of 
the war called the Public Good, which I mentioned beforef? 
and which had like to have cost him his crown. Soon after 
the King had given this advice to his son, and concluded the 
marriage | above mentioned, upon a Monday § the illness 
seized him of which he died, and it lasted until the Saturday 
following, the last day but one of August, 1483 ; I was 
present at the termination of his illness, and therefore I 
think myself entitled to say something of his death. 

Not long after his being seized with this last fit, he was 
deprived of his speech, as he had been formerly ; and though 
he recovered that again, yet he found himself much weaker 
than he had ever been (though indeed he was so weak before 
that he had scarce strength to lift his hand to his mouth), 
and he became so meagre and lean, that every one who saw 
him pitied him. The King, perceiving he had not long to 
live, sent for the Lord de Beau;eu (who had married his 
daughter, and is now Duke of Bourbon), and commanded him 
to »o to Amboise, to his son the king, as he called him. He 
recommended his son to him, and all his servants, and gave 

* The Praguerie (so called in allusion to the Hussite wars in Bohe- 
mia) was a rebellion of the nobles against Charles VII., in consequence 
of Irs having established a regular army, in order to drive the maraud- 
ing free-companies out of the kingdom. The vigorous measures taken 
by Charles to suppress this insurrection put an end to the war in lesa 
than six months. 

t Sec Book I. Chaps. 2 — 14. of these Memoirs. 

£ The marriage of the Dauphin to the Princess Margaret of Flanders 

§ Monday, the 25th of August, M83 The King died on Saturday, 



the 30th of August 



r d 



70 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE C >MMINES. £1483. 

him the charge and government of the young king, and 
made him promise, for several good reasons, not to permit 
certain persons to come near him ; and, if the Lord de 
Leaujeu had observed his commands strictly, or at least the 
best part of them, (for some were contradictory and not to 
be observed,) I am of opinion, considering what has since 
happened, it had been much better both for the kingdom and 
himself. 

Alter this he sent the chancellor*, with all that were 
under him, to carry the seals to the king his son. He also 
sent him some archers of his guard, several of his captains, 
the officers of his hounds and hawks, and all others in charge 
of his sports ; and he desired all that were going to Am- 
boise to pay their respects to the king his son, to be faith- 
ful and true to him ; and by every one he sent him some 
message or other, hut more especially by Stephen de Versf, 
who had brought up the young king, serving him in quality 
of first gentleman- of his bed-chamber, and had been made 
Bailiff of Meaux by King Louis. After the recovery of his 
speech, his senses never failed him, and indeed were never 
so quick, for he had a continual looseness upon him, which 
kept the vapours from ascending to his head. In all his 
sickness he never complained, as most other people do when 
they are ill ; at least 1 am of that nature, and I have known 
many of the same temper ; and the common opinion is that 
complaining alleviates our pain. 



Ch. XI. — A Comparison of the Troubles and Sorrows which King 
Louis suffered, with those he had brought upon other People ; with a 
Continuation of his Transactions till the Time of his Death. — 1483. 

He was continually discoursing on some subject or another, 
and always with a great deal of sense and judgment. His 

* William, Lord of Roehcfort. See Vol. I. p. 16. 

f Stephen de Vesc, knight, belonged to a noble family of Lower 
Dauphiny. He was one of the chamberlains of Charles V11I., who ap- 
pointed him Seneschal of Beaucaire and Jvismes, on the 3rd of March, 
1490. He afterwards became President of the Chambei ot Accounts} 
and was dignified with the bat^>n < f Constable of France on the King'a 
entrance into Maples, lie died ou the 6ih of October, 1501. 



1483.] the king's troubles. 71 

last illness (as I said before) continued from Monday to 
Saturday night. Upon which account I will now make 
comparison between the evils and sorrows which he brought 
upon others, and those which he suffered in his own person: 
for I hope his torments here on earth, have translated him 
into Paradise, and will be a great part of his purgatory : 
and if, in respect of their greatness and duration, his suffer- 
ings were inferior to those he had brought upon other people, 
yet, if you consider the grandeur and dignity of his office, 
and that he had never before suffered anything in his own 
person, but had been obeyed by all people, as if all Europe 
had been created for no other end, but to serve and be com- 
manded by him ; yon will find that little which he endured 
was so contrary to his nature and custom that it was more 
grievous for him to bear. 

His chief hope and confidence was placed in the good 
hermit I spoke of (who was at Plessis, and had come thither 
from Calabria) ; he sent continually to him, believing it 
was in his power to prolong Lis life if he pleased; for, not- 
withstanding all his precepts, he had great hopes of recover- 
ing ; and if it had so happened, he would quickly have dis- 
persed the throng he had sent to Amboise, to wait upon the 
new king. Finding his hopes rested so strongly upon this 
hermit, it was the advice of a certain grave divine*, and 
others who were about him, that it should be declared to 
him that there was no hope left for him but in the mercy of 
God; and it was also agreed among them, that his physician, 
Master James Coctier (in whom he had great confidence), 
should be present when this declaration was made him. This 
Coctier received of him every month ten thousand crowns, 
in the hope that he would lengthen his life. This resolution 
was taken to the end that he should lay aside all other 
thoughts, and apply himself wholly to the settlement of his 
conscience. And as he had advanced them, as it were, in an 
instant, and against all reason, to employments beyond their 
capacities, so they took upon them fearlessly to tell him a 
thing that had been more proper for other people to com- 

* M. (3c Barante (x. 82.) says this divine was Jean de Rely, doctor 
in theology, and canon of Paris. Gabriel Naude asserts, on the con- 
trary, that his name was Philippe, and that he was a monk of the Abhe^ 
ot S>t, Mania. 

V 4 



72 THE MEMOIRS OF PniLli" OE COMMINES. [1483. 

municate ; nor did they observe that reverence and respect 
towards him, which was proper in such a case, and would 
have been used by those persons who had been brought up 
with him, or by those whom, in a mere whim, he had re- 
moved from court but a little before. But, as he had sent a 
sharp message of death to two great persons whom lie had 
formerly beheaded (the Duke of Nemours*, and the Count 
of St. Paul f), by commissioners deputed on purpose, who 
in plain terms told them their sentence, appointed them con- 
fessors to arrange their consciences, and acquainted them 
that in a few hours they must resolve to die ; so with the 
same bluntness, and without the least circumstance of intro- 
duction, these imprudent persons told our King : " Sire, we 
must do our duty ; do not place your hopes any longer in 
this holy hermit, or anything else, for you are a dead man. 
Think therefore upon your conscience, for there is no remedy 
left." Every one added some short saying to the same pur- 
pose ; to which he answered, " I hope God will assist me, 
for perhaps I am not so ill as you imagine." 

What sorrow was this to him to hear this news ! Never 
man was more fearful of death, nor used more means to pre- 
vent it. He had, all his life long, commanded and requested 
his servants, and me among the rest, that whenever we saw 
him in any danger of death, we should not tell him of it, but 
merely admonish him to confess himself, without ever men- 
tioning that cruel and shucking word Death ; for he did not 
believe he could ever endure to hear so cruel a sentence. 
However, he endured that virtuously, and several more 
things equally terrible, when he was ill; and indeed he bore 
them better than any man I ever saw die. He spoke several 
things, which were to be delivered to his son, whom he 
called king ; and he confessed himself very devoutly, said 

* See note, Vol. I. p. 1 6. 

f See Book IV. Chap. 12. The constable's trial lasted from the 27th 
of November, 1475, to the 19th of December following. His sentence 
was read to him in these terms : — " You have been long in the custody of 
the King, and you have been diligently interrogated with regard to the 
extreme offences you have committed. The sentence of the Court of 
Parliament against you is, that you be publicly beheaded and put to 
death to-day on the Greve, opposite the Hotel de Ville." At these 
words the constable cried aloud and said : " My God ! what news I 
this is a hard sentence !" — Molinex, i. 183. 



1 483. J the king's suspicions. 73 

several prayers suitable to the sacraments he received, and 
called for the sacraments himself. He spoke as judiciously as 
if he had never been ill, discoursed of all things which might 
be necessary for his son's instruction, and among the rest gave 
orders that the Lord des Cordes should not stir from his 
son for six months; and that he should be desired to attempt 
nothing against Calais, or elsewhere, declaring, that though 
he had designed himself to undertake such enterprises for 
the benefit of both the king and the kingdom, yet they were 
very dangerous, especially tliat against Calais, because the 
English might resent it ; and he left it in especial charge, 
that for five or six years after his death, they should, above 
all things, preserve the kingdom in peace, which during his 
life he had never suffered. And indeed it was no more thun 
was necessary ; for, though the kingdom was large and fer- 
tile, yet it was grown very poor, upon account of the march- 
ing and counter-marching of the soldiers up and down, in 
their passage from one country to another, as they have done 
since, to an even worse extent. He also ordered that nothing 
should be attempted against Bretagne, but that Duke Francis 
should be suffered to live in peace; that both he and his 
neighbours might be without fear, and the king and king- 
dom remain free from wars, till the king should be of age, 
to take upon himself the administration of affairs. 

You have already heard with what indiscretion and blunt- 
ness they acquainted the king with his approaching death ; 
which I have mentioned in a more particular manner, 
because in a preceding paragraph I began to compare the 
evils, which he had made others suffer, who lived under his 
dominion, with those he endured himself before his death ; 
that it might appear that, though they were not perhaps of 
so long a duration, yet they were fully as great and terrible, 
considering his station and dignity, which required more 
obedience than any private person, and had found more ; so 
that i he least opposition was a great torment to him. Some 
five or six months before his death, he began to suspect every- 
body, especially those who were most capable and deserving 
of the administration of affairs. He was afraid of his son, 
and caused him to be kept close, so that no man saw or dis- 
coursed with him, but by his special command. At last he 
grew suspicious of his daughter, and of his son-in-law the 



74 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIILIP DE COMMINES. [_1483 

Duke of Bourbon, and required an account of what persons 
came to speak with them at Plessis, and broke up a council 
which the Duke of Bourbon was holding there, by his 
order. 

At the time that the Count of Dunois* and the said Duke 
of Bourbon returned from conducting the ambassadors, who 
had been at Amboise to attend the marriage of the Dauphin and 
the young queen, the King being in the gallery at Plessis, 
and seeing them enter with a great train into the castle, 
called for a captain of the guards, and commanded him to go 
and search the servants of those lords, to see whether they 
had any arms under their robes ; and ordered him to do it 
in discourse, so as no notice might be taken. Behold, then, 
if he bad caused many to live under him in continual fear 
and apprehension, whether it was not returned to him again; 
for of whom could he be secure when he was afraid of his 
son-in-law, his daughter, and his own son ? I speak this not 
only of him, but of all other princes who desire to be feared, 
that vengeance never falls on them till they grow old, and 
then, as a just penance, they are afraid of everybody them- 
selves ; and what grief must it have been to this poor King 
to be tormented with such terrors and passions ? 

He was still attended by his physician, Master James 
Coctier, to whom in five months' time he had given fifty -four 
thousand crowns in ready money, besides the bishopric of 
Amiens for his nephewf, and other great offices and estates 
for himself and his friends; yet this doctor used him very 
roughly indeed ; one would not have given such outrageous 
language to one's servants, as he gave the King, who stood in 
such awe of him, that he durst not forbid him his presence. It 
is true he complained of his impudenceafterwards, but he durst 
not change him as he had done all the rest of his servants ; 
because he had told him after a most audacious manner one 
day, "I know well that some time or other you will dismiss me 

* Francis of Orleans, Count of Longueville and Dunois, was born in 
1447 ; married Agnes of Savoy; was appointed Governor of Dauphiny 
by Charles VIII. in 1483, and Grand Chamberlain of France in 1485; 
and died on the 25th of November. 1491. He was a son of the celebrated 
Bastard of Orleans, so distinguished in the wars against the English in 
the time of Joan of Arc. 

f Pierre Verse, appointed to the bishopric of Amiens, on the 16th oi 
August. 1482. 



1483.] the king's cruelties. 73 

from court, as you have done the rest ; but be sure (and he 
confirmed it with a great oath) you shall not live eight days 
sifter it* ;" with which expression the king was so terrified, 
that ever after he did nothing but flatter and bribe him, which 
must needs have been a great mortification to a prince who 
had been humbly obeyed all his life by so many good and 
brave men. 

The King had ordered several cruel prisons to be made ; 
some were cages of iron, and some of wood, but all were 
covered with iron plates both within and without, with 
terrible locks, about eight feet wide and seven high ; the first 
contriver of them was the Bishop of Verdunf , who was 
immediately put in the first of them that was made, where 
he continued fourteen years. Many bitter curses he has had 
since for his invention, and some from me as I lay in one of 
them eight months together in the minority of our pre- 
sent King. He also ordered heavy and terrible fetters to be 
made in Germany, and particularly a certain ring for the 
feet, which was extremely hard to be opened, and fitted like 
an iron collar, with a thick weighty chain, and a great globe 
of iron at the end of it, most unreasonably heavy, which 
engines were called the King's Nets. However, I have seen 
many eminent and deserving persons in these prisons, with 
these nets about their legs, who afterwards came forth with 
great joy and honour, and received great rewards from the 
King. Among the rest, a sonj of the Lord de la Grutuse, 

* The same, or nearly the same story is told of Tiberius, who demanded 
of a soothsayer, Thrasullus, if lie knew the day of his own death, and re- 
ceived for answer, it would take place just three days before that of the 
emperor. On this reply, instead of being thrown over the roeks into 
the sea, as bad been the tyrant's first intention, he was taken great care 
of for the rest of his life. — Taciti Annates, vi. 21. 

t Guillaume de Haraucourt. See Vol. I. p. 165. 

X Jean i!e Bruges, Lord of Avelghem and Espiercs, and afterward£ 
Lord of La Gruthuse, and Prince of Steenhuys, in Flanders. He was 
knighted by Duke Maximilian of Austria, on the 7th of August, 1479, 
just before the battle of Guinegatte, in which he was taken prisoner. 
Louis XI. afterwards appointed him one of his chamberlains, and mar- 
ried him to Pence de Bueil, daughter of the Count of Sancerre. In 
1484, Charles VIII. appointed him Seneschal of Anjou ; in 1498 he 
was made Grand Master of the crossbow-men of France ; and in 1491 
he was raised to the office of Captain of the Louvre. He died on tha 
8th of August. 1512 Til regard to his father, see note, Vol, I. p. 193. 



76 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIKES. [1483. 

in Flanders (who was taken in battle), whom the king mar* 
ried very honourably afterwards, made him his chamberlain, 
and seneschal of Anjou, and gave him the command of a 
hundred lances. The Lord de Piennes*, and the Lord de 
Vergyf, both prisoners of war, also had commands given 
them in his army, were made his or his son's chamberlains, 
and had great estates bestowed on them. Monsieur de 
RichebourgJ, the constable's brother, had the same good for- 
tune, as did also one Roquebertin§, a Catalonian, likewise 
prisoner of war ; besides others of various countries, too 
numerous to be mentioned in this place. 

This by way of digression. But to return to my principal 
design. As in his time this barbarous variety of prisons 
was invented, so before he died he himself was in greater 
torment, and more terrible apprehension than those whom 
he had imprisoned ; which I look upon as a great mercy 
towards him, and as part of his purgatory ; and I have 
mentioned it here to show that there is no person, of what 
station or dignity soever, but suffers some time or other, 
either publicly or privately, especially if he has caused other 
people to suffer. The king, towards the latter end of his 
days, caused his castle of Plessis-les-Tours to be encom- 
passed with great bars of iron in the form of thick grating, 
and at the four corners of the house four sparrow-nests of 
iron, strong, massy, and thick, were built. The grates were 
without the wall on the other side of the ditch, and sank to 
the bottom. Several spikes of iron were fastened into the 
wall, set as thick by one another as was possible, and each 
furnished with three or four points. He likewise placed ten 
bow-men in the ditches, to shoot at any man that durst 

* Louis de Halewin, Lord of Piennes, having been made prisoner by 
the French, some time after the siege of Neuss, entered the service of 
Louis XL, who appointed him Captain of Montlhery in 1480. In 1486 
Charles VIII. gave him the government of Bethune ; and in 1512 
Louis XII. appointed him Governor and Lieutenant-Gencral of Picardy. 
He died in 1518. 

f The Lord of Vergy was made prisoner in 1477. See note, Vol. I 
p. 362. 

f. The Lord of Richebourg, brother of the Constable of St. Paul, was 
made prisoner in 1475. See Vol- I. pp. 245 — 249. 

§ Pierre de Roquebertin, Knight, Councillor and Chamberlain of Louil 
XL Governor of iioussillon and Cerdague, and Lord of Sonimieres. 



MS3.J CASTLE OF PLESSIS-1 ES-TOURS. 77 

approach the castle before the opening of the gates ; and 
lie ordered they should lie in the ditches, but retire to the 
sparrow-nests upon occasion. lie was sensible enough that 
tins fortification was too weak to keep out an army, or any 
great body of men, but lie had no fear of such an attack ; 
his great apprehension was, that some of the nobility of his 
kingdom, having intelligence within, might attempt to make 
themselves musters of the castle by night, and having pos- 
sessed themselves partly of it by favour, and partly by force, 
might deprive him of the regal authority, ami take upon 
themselves the administration of public affairs; upon pre- 
tence he was incapable of business, and no longer fit to 
govern. 

The gate of the Plessis was never opened, nor the draw- 
bridge let down, before eight o'clock in the morning, at 
which time the officers were let in ; and the captains ordered 
their guards to their several posts, with pickets of archers 
in the middle of the court, as in a town upon the frontiers 
that is closely guarded: nor was any person admitted to 
enter except by the wicket and with the king's knowledge, 
unless it were the steward of his household, and such persons 
as were not admitted into the royal presence.* 

* Sir Walter Scott's description of the Royal Castle of Plessis is suffi- 
ciently accurate to deserve insertion. " There were three external walls, 
battlemented and turreted from space to space, and at each angle; the 
second enclosure rising higher than the first, and being built so as to 
command the exterior defence, in case it was won by the enemy ; and 
being again, in the same manner, itself commanded by the third and 
innermost barrier. Around the external wall was sunk a ditch ol 
about twenty feet in depth, supplied with water by a dam-head on the 
River Cher, or rather on one of its tributary branches. In front of the 
second enclosure ihero ran another fosse, and a third of the same un- 
usual dimensions was led between the second and the innermost enclo- 
sure. The verge, both of the outer and inner circuit of this triple moat, 
was strongly fenced with palisades of iron, serving the purpose of what 
are called chevaux cle-fii.se in modern fortification ; the top of each pale 
being divided into a cluster of sharp spikes, which seemed to render any 
attempt to climb over an act of self-destruction. 

" From within the innermost enclosure arose the castle itself, contain- 
ing buildings of different periods, crowded around, and united with the 
ancient and grim-looking donjon-keep, which was older than any of 
them, and which rose like a black Ethiopian giant, high into the air, 
while the absence of any windows larger than shot-holes, irregularly 
disposed for defence, gave the spectator the same unpleasant feeliuij 



78 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1483. 

Is it possible then to keep a prince (with any regard to 
his quality) in a closer prison than he kept himself? The 
cages which were made for other people were about eight feet 
square ; and he (though s<> great a monarch) had but a small 
court of the castle to walk in, and seldom made use of that, 
but generally kept himself in the gallery, out of which he 
went into the chambers on his way to mass, but never passed 
through the court. Who can deny that he was a sufferer 
as well as his neighbours, considering how he was locked 
up and guarded, afraid of his own children and relations, 
and changing every day those very servants whom he had 
brought up and advanced ; and though they owed all their 
preferment to him, yet he durst not trust any of them, but 
shut himself up in tnose strange chains and enclosures. If 
the place where he confined himself was larger than a 
common prison, he also was much greater than common 
prisoners. 

which we experience on looking at a blind man. The other buildings 
seemed scarcely better adapted for the purposes of comfort, for the win- 
dows opened to an inner and enclosed courtyard ; so that the whole 
external front looked much more like that of a prison than a palace. 

" This formidable place had but one entrance; at least none could be 
seen along the spacious front, except where in the centre of the tirst and 
outward boundary arose two strong towers, the usual defences of a 
gateway, with their ordinary accompaniments, portcullis and draw- 
bridge. Similar entrance-towers were visible on the second and third 
bounding wall; but not on the same line with those on the outward cir- 
cuit, because the passage did not cut right through the whole three en- 
closures at the same point, but, on the contrary, those who entered had 
to proceed nearly thirty yards betwixt the first and second wall, exposed, 
if their purpose were hostile, to missiles from both ; and again, when the 
second boundary was passed, they must make a similar digression from 
the straight line, in order to attain the portal of the third and innermost 
enclosure ; so that, before gaining the outer court, which ran along the 
front of the building, two narrow and dangerous defiles were to be tra- 
versed under a flanking fire of artillery, and three gates, defended in the 
strongest manner known to the age, were to be successively forced. 

" The environs of the castle, except the single winding path by which 
the portal might be safely approached, were surrounded with every spe- 
ties of hidden pitfall, snare, and gin, to entrap the wretch who should 
renture thither without a guide ; and upon the walls were constructed 
certain cradles of iron, called sparrow-nests, from which the sentinels, 
h'ho were regularly posted there, could, without being exposed to any 
risk, take deliberate aim at any who should attempt to enter without the 
proper signal or piss-word of the de-y." 



1483.] DEATH OF THE KING. 79 

It may be urged (hat other princes have been more given 
to suspicion than he, but it was not in our time; and, perhaps, 
their wisdom was not so eminent, nor were their subjects so 
good. They might too, probably, have been tyrants, and 
bloody-minded ; but our king never did any person a mis- 
chief who had not offended him first, though I do not say all 
who offended him deserved death. I have not recorded 
these things merely to represent our master as a suspicious 
and mistrustful prince; but to show, that by the patience 
which he expressed in his sufferings (like those which he 
inflicted on other people), they may be looked upon, in my 
judgment, as a punishment which our Lord inflicted upon 
him in this world, in order to deal more mercifully with him 
in the next, as well in regard to those things before-men- 
tioned, as to the distempers of his body, which were great 
and painful, and much dreaded by him before they came 
upon him; and, likewise, that those princes who may be his 
successors, may learn by his example to be more tender and 
indulgent to their subjects, and less severe in their punish- 
ments than our master had been : although I will not censure 
him, or say I ever saw a better prince; for though he op- 
pressed his subjects himself, he would never see them injured 
by anybody else. 

After so many fears, sorrows, and suspicions, God, by a 
kind of miracle, restored him both in body and mind, as is 
His divine method in such kind of wonders; for He took 
him out of this miserable world in perfect health of mind, 
and understanding, and memory; after having received the 
sacraments himself, discoursing without the least twinge or 
expression of pain, and repeating his paternosters to the 
very last moment of his life. He gave directions * for his 
own burial, appointed who should attend his corpse to the 

* These directions will be found in Dupont, iii. 339 — 344. Master 
Colin of Amiens is therein directed to represent the king " on his knees 
on a cushion, with his dog beside him, his hat in his clasped hands, his 
sword by his side, and his horn hanging behind his shoulders. Let him 
be dressed in a hunting suit, with boots on his feet; and withal the 
handsomest countenance you can make him, young and smooth; with 
his nose nither long and turned-up a little, as you know, and do not 
make him bald." This effigy was to be made of molten copper, and gilt 
with ducat gold; and the sum to be paid for it was a thousand gold 
crowns. 



80 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1483. 

grave, and declared that he desired to die on a Saturday of 
all days in the week ; and that lie hoped Our Lady would 
procure him that favour, for in her he had always placed 
great trust, and served her very devoutly. And so it hap- 
pened ; for he died on Saturday, the 30th of August, 1483, 
at about eight in the evening, in the Castle of Plessis, where 
his illness seized him on the Monday before. May Our 
Lord receive his soul, and admit it unto His kingdom of 
Paradise ! 



*}h XTI. — A Digression concerning the Miseries of Mankind, especially 
of Princes, by the Example of those who reigned in the Author's 
Time, and chiefly of King Louis. 

Small hopes and comfort ought poor and inferior people to 
have in this world, considering what so great a king suffered 
and underwent, and how he was at last forced to leave all, and 
could not, with all his care and diligence, protract his life one 
single hour. I knew him, and was entertained in his service 
in the flower of his age, and at the height of his prosperity, 
yet I never saw him free from labour and care. Of all diver- 
sions he loved hunting and hawking in their seasons ; but his 
chief delight was in dogs. As for ladies, he never meddled 
with any in my time ; for about the time of my coming to 
his court he lost a son*, at whose death he was extremely 
afflicted, and he made a vow to God in my presence never to 
have intercourse with any other woman but the queen ; and 
though this was no more than what he was bound to do by 
the canons of the church, yet it was much that his self-com- 
mand should be so great, that he should be able to persevere 
in his resolution so firmly, considering that the queen (though 
an excellent princess in other respects) was not a person in 
whom a man could take any great delight. 

In hunting, his eagerness and pain were equal to his plea- 
sure, for his chase was the stag, which he always ran down. 

* This son's name was Joachim. He was born on Tuesday, the 17th 
of July, 1459, at the Castle of Genappes ; and he died on the 29th of 
Jiuvciuber in th". same year. 



M83.] CHARACTER OF LOUIS XL 81 

He rose very early in the morning, rode sometimes a great 
distance, and would not leave his sport, let the weather be 
never so bad ; and when he came home at night he was often 
very weary, and generally in a violent passion with some ot 
his courtiers or huntsmen ; for hunting is a sport not always 
to be managed according to the master's direction ; yet, in 
the opinion of most people, he understood it as well as any 
prince of his time. He was continually at these sports, 
lodging in the country villages to which his recreations led 
him, till he Avas interrupted by business ; for during the 
most part of the summer there was constantly war between 
him and Charles Duke of Burgundy, and in the winter 
they made truces. 

He was also involved in some trouble about the county of 
Roussillon, with John, King of Arragon, father of Peter of 
Castile, who at present is King of Spain ; for though both 
of them were poor, and already at variance with their sub- 
jects in Barcelona and elsewhere, and though the son had 
nothing but the expectation of succeeding to the throne of 
Don Henry of Castile, his wife's brother (which fell to him 
afterwards), yet they made considerable resistance ; for that 
province being entirely devoted to their interest, and they 
being universally beloved by the people, they gave our king 
abundance of trouble, and the war lasted till his death, and 
many brave men lost their lives in it, and his treasury was 
exhausted by it ; so that he had but a little time during the 
whole year to spend in pleasure, and even then the fatigues 
he underwent were excessive. When his body was at rest 
his mind was at work, for he had affairs in several places at 
once, and would concern himself as much in those of his 
neighbours as in his own, putting officers of his own over 
all the great families an d endeavouring to divide their 
authority as much as possible. When he was at war he 
laboured for a peace or a truce, and when he had obtained 
it, he was impatient for war again. He troubled himself 
with many trifles in his government, which he had better 
have let alone : but it was his temper, and he could not help 
it ; besides, he had a prodigious memory, and he forgot no- 
thing, but knew everybody, as well in other countries as in 
his own. 

Ami, in truth, he jeemed better fitted to rile a world than 

VOL. II. Q 



82 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMLNFS [1483 

to govern a single kingdom. I speak not of his minority, for 
then I was not with him ; but when he was eleven years 
old, he was, by the advice of some of the nobility, and others 
of his kingdom, embroiled in a war with his father, Charles 
VII., which lasted not long, and was called the Praguerie. 
When he was arrived at man's estate, he was married, much 
against his inclination, to the King of Scotland's daughter*; 
and he regretted her existence during the whole couise of 
her life. Afterwards, by reason of the broils and factions in 
his father's court, he retired into Dauphinyt (which was his 
own), whither many persons of quality followed him, and 
indeed more than he could entertain. During his residence 
in Dauphiny he married the Duke of Savoy's daughter |, 
and not long after he had great disputes with his father- 
in-law, and a terrible war was begun between them. His 
father, King Charles VII., seeing his son attended by so 
many good officers, and raising men at his pleasure, resolved 
to go in person against him, with a considerable body of 
forces, in order to disperse them. "While he was upon his 
march he put out proclamations, requiring them all, as his 
subjects, under great penalties, to repair to him ; and many 
obeyed, to the great displeasure of the Dauphin, who, finding 
his father incensed, though he was strong enough to resist, 
resolved to retire, and leave that country to him ; and ac- 
cordingly he removed, with but a slender retinue, into Bur- 
gundy, to Duke Philip's court, who received him honourably, 
furnished him nobly, and maintained him§ and his principal 

* Margaret, daughter of James I., King of Scotland. She was mar- 
ried to the Dauphin on the 24th of June, 1436; and died on the 16th 
of August, 1444. Her lot in France was singularly wretched, as she 
was treated by her husband with marked contempt and dislike. The 
story of her adventure with Alain Chartier is well known. Finding the 
famous poet asleep in a saloon of the palace, she stooped down and kissed 
him, observing to her ladies, who were somewhat astonished at her pro- 
ceeding, that she did not kiss the man, but the mouth which had uttered 
so many fine things. 

f In the year 1446. See Vol. I. p. 60. 

J Charlotte, daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy, was married to the 
Dauphin in March, 1451; and died on the 1st of December, 1483. 

§ The Duke of Burgundy granted the Dauphin a monthly pension of 
2000 francs; to theDauphiness he allowed 1000 gold crowns per month; 
to the Lord of Montauban, 500 crowns; to the Marshal of Dauphiny, a 
similar sum; and to others according to their degiee. 



1483.] CHARACTER OF LOCIS XI. 83 

servants (as the Count de Comminges*, the Lord de Mon- 
taubanf, and others), by way of pensions, and to the rest he 
gave presents, as he saw occasion, during the whole time of 
their residence there. However, the Dauphin entertained sa 
many at his own expense, that his money often failed, to his 
great disgust and mortification ; for he was forced to bor- 
row J, or his people would have forsaken him, which is 
certainly a great affliction to a prince who was utterly unac- 
customed to those straits. So that during his residence at 
the court of Burgundy he had his anxieties, for he was con- 
strained to cajole the duke and his ministers, lest they should 
think he was too burdensome, and had laid too long upon 
their hands, for he had been with them six§ years, and his 
father, King Charles, was constantly pressing and soliciting 
the Duke of Burgundy, by his ambassadors, either to deliver 
him up to him, or to banish him out of his dominions. || And 
this, you may believe, gave the Dauphin some uneasy thoughts, 
and would not suffer him to be idle. In which season of his 
life, then, was it that he may be said to have enjoyed himself? 
I believe from his infancy and innocence to his death, his 
whole life was nothing but one continued scene of troubles 
and fatigues ^f; and I am of opinion, that if all the days 

* John, Bastard of Armagnac, was created Count of Coraminges and 
Marshal of France in 1461, and died in 1473. 

f See Vol. I. p. 19. 

j He once borrowed thirty crowns from the Lord de Sassenage, to 
whom he gave the following receipt: "We, Louis, eldest son of the King 
of France, Dauphin of Viennois, confess that we owe to James, Lord 
of Sassenage, the sum of thirty crowns for a black horse, which he has 
handed over and delivered, by our order, to Henry Guerin, to whom we 
have given it: which sum of thirty crowns we promise to pay him before 
Christm s next. In witness whereof we have signed these presents." 
The Dauphiness, on her accession to the throne of France, was obliged 
to borrow the palfreys of the Countess of Charolais for her journey. — 
Dlpont, ii. 275. 

§ He remained there only five years. 

|| On learning the reception given to Louis by the Duke of Burgundy, 
Charles VII. said: " Our brother Philip has taken home a fox who will 
eat his chickens." 

% Chastellain (129.) reports this speech of Louis XI. on his accession 
to the crown : " Only yesterday I held myself to be the poorest son of a 
king that ever was, and one who, from my infancy to the present day. 
have had nought but suffering and tribulation, poverty, anguish, and 
want; and, what is more, expulsion from my inheritance, and loss of my 

6 2 



84 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINFS. [1483. 

of his life were computed in which his joys and pleasures 
outweighed his pain and trouble, they would be found so 
few, that there would be twenty mournful ones to one plea- 
sant. He lived about sixty-one years, yet he always fancied 
he should never outlive sixty, giving this for a reason, that 
for a long time no king of France had lived beyond that 
age. Some say, since the time of Charlemagne; but the 
king our master was far advanced in his sixty-first year.* 

What ease or what pleasure did Charles, Duke of Bur- 
gundy, enjoy more than our master King Louis ? In his 
youth, indeed, he had less trouble, for he did not begin to 
enter upon any action till nearly the two-and-thirtieth year 
of his age ; so that before that time he lived in great ease 
and quiet. His first quarrel was with his father's chief 
otneers ; and as his father took their part, he immediately 
withdrew from court, and retired into Holland f, where being 
well received, he fell immediately into intelligence with the 
Gantois, and went and visited his father sometimes. He had 
no allowance from his father ; but Holland, being a rich 
country, made him great presents, as did several other great 
towns, hoping thereby to insinuate themselves into his favour, 
and reap the advantage after Duke Philip's death. And it 
is the common custom of the world to worship the rising 
sun, and court him whose future authority will be great, 
rather than him who is already at the height of his fortune, 
and can never be higher. For this reason, when Duke 
Philip was informed that the Gantois had expressed great 
kindness for his son, and that he understood how to manage 
them, he answered, " They always love him who is to be 
their sovereign ; but as soon as he is their lord they will 
hate him." And his saying was true, for from the time of 
Duke Philip's death and Charles's accession, their love began 
to decline, and they showed it openly, and he, on the other 
side, cared as little for them ; yet they did more mischief 
to his posterity than they could possibly do to him. 

father's love, so as to be obliged, my wife and myself, to live by borrow- 
ing and begging, without a foot of land, a house to cover us, or a penny 
in our pockets, except by the goodness and charity of my good uncle, 
who has maintained, me thus for the space of five years '' 

* The exact age of Louis XI. at the time of his death was sixty 
years, one month, and twenty-seven days. 

f In the year 1462. 



1483.] EXAMPLE OF KING EDWARD IV So 

But to continue these Memoirs. From the time Duke 
Charles undertook his war to recover the towns in Picardy, 
(which our master had redeemed from Duke Philip), and 
joined himself with the lords of the kingdom in the war 
called the Public Good, what pleasure, what tranquillity had 
he? He had continual trouble and labour, without the least 
cessation or refreshment, either to his body or mind ; for 
glory got entire possession of his heart, and constantly 
spurred him on to attempt new conquests. He was always 
in the field during summer, exposing his person to the 
greatest danger, taking the care and command of the whole 
army upon himself; and yet he thought his work too little. 
He was the first that rose, and the last that went to bed in 
the camp ; and he slept in his clothes, like the poorest foot- 
soldier in the army. In winter, when the campaign was 
Dver, he was busily employed about raising money; six 
hours every morning he set apart for conferences, and i'or 
giving audience to ambassadors; and in this perpetual hurry 
of affairs he ended his days, and was killed by the Swiss in 
the battle of Nancy, as you have already heard ; so that it 
cannot be said that he enjoyed one happy day from the time 
of his beginning to aggrandise himself to the hour of his 
death ; and then what were the fruits of all his pains and 
labour? Or what necessity was there of his doing so? 
since he was a rich prince, and had towns and territories 
large enough already to have made him happy, if he could 
have been contented with them. 

The next prince whom we shall have occasion to mention 
is Edward IV., King of England, a great and powerful 
monarch. In his minority he saw his father the Duke of 
York* defeated and slain in battle, and with him the father •(■ 
of the Earl of Warwick, who governed the king in his youth, 
and managed all his affairs ; and, to say the truth, it was the 
Earl of Warwick who made Edward king, and dethroned 
his old master, King Henry VI., who had reigned many 
years in England, and (in my judgment, and the judgment 
of the world,) was the lawful king; but, in such cases, 
Ihe disposal of kingdoms and great states is in the hands of 

• See Vol. I. p. 48. 

f Richard Neville, Earl of Westm* relnud and Salisbury 

o 3 



86 THE MEMOIRS OF PniLIP DE COMMINES. [1483 

God, who orders them as He pleases, for indeed all things 
proceed from Him. The reason of the Earl of Warwick's 
espousing the interest of the House of York against King 
Henry, who was of the Lancastrian family, was upon a 
difference that happened at court betwixt the Duke of So- 
merset and the Earl of Warwick. The king not having 
wisdom enough to compose it, it grew to that height that the 
queen* (who was of the house of Anjou, and daughter to 
Rene, King of Sicily") interposed in it, and inclined to the 
duke's party against the Earl of Warwick ; for all had ac- 
knowledged Henry, his father, and his grandfather, for their 
lawful kings. The queen would have acted much more 
prudently in endeavouring to have adjusted the dispute be- 
tween them than in saying, "I am of this party, and will 
maintain it ;" and it proved so by the event, for it occasioned 
many battles in England, and a war which continued nine- 
and-twenty years f ; and in the end nearly all the partisans 
of both sides were destroyed ; so that factions and parties 
are very perilous and fatal, especially to the nobility, who 
are too prone to propagate and foment them. If it be alleged 
that by this means both parties are kept in awe, and the 
secret minds of his subjects are discovered to the prince, I 
agree that a young prince may encourage faction among his 
ladies, and it may be pleasant and diverting enough, and may 
give him opportunity of finding out some of their intrigues; 
but nothing is so dangerous to a nation as to nourish such 
factions and partialities among men of courage and magna- 
nimity; it is no less than setting one's own house on fire ; 
for immediately some or other cry out, " The king is against 
us," seize upon some fortified town, and correspond with his 
enemies. And certainly the factions of Orleans and Bur- 
gundy ought to make us wise on this point ; for they began 
a war which lasted seventy-two years J, in which the English 
were concerned, and thought by those unhappy divisions to 
have conquered the kingdom. 

* Margaret of Anjou, daughter of Rene, King of Naples and Sicily. 
She was born on the 23rd of March, 1429; married to King Henry VL 
in 1444; and died on the 25th of August, 1482. 

•f The first battle was fought in 1455, and the last in 147 1. See Vol. I 
p. 181. 

X See Vol. L p. 273 



1483.] EXAMPLE OF MATTHIAS I. OF HUNGARY. 87 

But to return from this digression. King Edward was a 
very voung prince, and one of the handsomest men of his 
age, at the time lie had overcome all his difficulties ; so he 
gave himself up wholly to pleasures, and took no delight in 
anything but ladies, dancing, entertainments, and the chase; 
and in this voluptuous course of life, if I mistake not, he 
spent ahout sixteen years, till the quarrel happened between 
him and the Earl of Warwick. In which contest, though 
tho king was driven out of the kingdom, yet his misfortune 
lasted not long ; for he quickly returned, obtained a victory, 
and afterwards fell again to his pleasures, and indulged him- 
self in them more recklessly than before. From this time 
he feared nobody; but he grew very fat, and his excess in- 
clining him to diseases, in the very flower of his age, he died 
suddenly (as it was reported) of an apoplexy*, and his family 
perished after him (as you have heard), as regarded the suc- 
cession in the male line. 

In our time also, there reigned two wise and valiant 
princes, Matthias, King of Hungary t, and Mahomet Otto- 
man, Emperor of the Turks. J This King Matthias was the 
son of a very valiant gentleman, called the White Knight 
of Wallachia §, a person of great honour and prudence, who 



* 



This is the third explanation given by Commines of the cause of 
Edward's death. At Vol. I. p. 394., he says he died of melancholy, and 
at p. 62. of this volume he ascribes his decease to a catarrh. Apoplexy 
is the most probable explanation of the event. 

f Matthias I., surnamed Corvinus, was the son of John Hunniades, 
and was proclaimed King of Hungary in 1458, at the age of sixteen 
years. He reigned for thirty- two years with considerable reputation, to 
which his patronage of learned men, who repaid his munificence with 
very profuse eulogies, did not a little contribute. He died in 1490. 

J Mahomet II., son of Amurath IL, was proclaimed Sultan in 1451, 
and died in 1481. He is usually distinguished by European historians 
by the title of Mahomet the Great, first Emperor of the Turks. His 
reign was signalised by the capture of Constantinople, and the fall of 
the Byzantine empire. 

§ John Hunniades, Voyvode of Transylvania, was Regent of Hun- 
gary during the minority of King Ladislaus. This hero stood in the 
breach for twelve years against the Turkish power, frequently defeated. 
but unconquered in defeat. " If the renown of Hunniades," says Mr. 
Hallam, "may seem exaggerated by the partiality of writers who lived 
under the reign of his son, it is confirmed by more unequivocal evi- 
dence, by the dread and hatred of the Turks, whose children were taught 
obedience by threatening them with his name, and by the deference of a 

G 4 



88 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1483 

for a long time had governed the kingdom of Hungary, and 
had gained several battles over the Turks, who are neigh- 
bours to that country, by reason of the territories which 
they have usurped in Sclavonia, Bosnia, and Greece. Not 
long after his death, Lancelot * came to man's estate, who was 
heir to that kingdom, and to the kingdoms of Bohemia and 
Poland besides. This Lancelot was advised by some persons 
(as was reported) to seize upon the two sons of the White 
Knight, on the pretence that, as their father had obtained 
and exercised so much power and authority in that kingdom 
during his infancy, it was not improbable that his sons might 
do the same. Upon which the said Lancelot resolved to 
have them both apprehended, which was accordingly done. 
He put the eldest f to death, and sent the other, which was 
Matthias, a prisoner to Buda, the chief town in Hungary ; 
but he did not remain long in confinement (God Almighty 
being perhaps pleased with the services of his father), for, 
awhile after, King Lancelot was poisoned at Prague, in 
Bohemia, by a lady of quality (whose brother I have seen), 
with whom he had been in love, and she with him ; but 
being incensed at his intended marriage in France, with the 

jealous aristocracy to a man of no distinguished birth." Hunniades was 
a Wallachian, of a small family. His last and most splendid service 
was the relief of Belgrade. That strong city was besieged by Ma- 
homet II., three years after the fall of Constantinople; its capture would 
have laid open all Hungary. A tumultuary army, chiefly collected by 
the preaching of a friar, was entrusted to Hunniades. He penetrated 
into the city, and having repulsed the Turks in a fortunate sally, wherein 
Mahomet was wounded, had the honour of compelling him to raise the 
siege in confusion. The relief of Belgrade was more important in its 
effects than in its immediate circumstances: it revived the spirits of 
Europe, which had been appalled by the unceasing victories of the 
infidels. Mahomet himself seemed to acknowledge the importance of 
the blow, and seldom afterwards attacked the Hungarians. Hunniades 
died in 1456, soon after this achievement. 

* Ladislaus V., King of Hungary, was the posthumous son of Albert, 
Duke of Austria, who acquired the crown of Hungary for his progeny 
by marrying Elizabeth, daughter of the Emperor Sigismund. Ladislaus 
was born on the 22nd of February, 1440; became king on the 13th of 
February, 1453; and died on the 23rd of November, 1457. 

f Ladislaus, the eldest son of John Hunniades, was beheaded on the 
8th of March, 1456, for having assassinated the Count of Cillei during 
the preceding year. 



1483.] REIGN OF MATTHU.S I DF HUNGARY. 89 

daughter* of King Charles VII. (called now the Princess of 
Vienne), which was contrary to his engagement to her, she 
poisoned him in a bath, by giving him an apple to eat, and 
conveying poison into the haft of his knife. Upon the death 
of Lancelot, the barons of Hungary assembled at Buda for 
the election of* a king, according to an ancient privilege 
which they have, to elect their king when his predecessor 
has died without issue. Whilst they were mightly divided, 
and in great controversy about the election, the widow of 
the White Knight, and mother of Matthias, entered the 
town with a very splendid equipage ; for she was very rich, 
esp cially in ready money, which her husband had left her, 
by means of which she was able, to raise men immediately ; 
and, besides, it is not improbable that she had partisans in 
the town, and among the electors, upon account of the in- 
fluence and authority her husband had had in that kingdom. 
As soon as she came into the city, she marched directly to 
the prison, and released her son ; upon which some of the 
barons and prelates who were assembled fled in terror out of 
the town, and those that remained chose Matthias for their 
king ; and he reigned among them in great prosperity, with 
as much applause and esteem as any of his predecessors, and 
in some things with even more. Pie was a man of as much 
courage as any of that age, and obtained many signal vic- 
tories over the Turks, without any loss to his kingdom, which 
he much enlarged, as well towards Turkey as towards Bohe- 
mia (most of which was in his possession ), and also in Wal- 
lachia (where he was born) and Sclavonia ; and on the side 
towards Germany he took the greatest part of Austria from 
the Emperor Frederic, and kept it till his death, which hap- 
pened in Vienna, the chief city of Austria, in the year 1491. 
He was a prince who managed his affairs discreetly, both in 
peace and in war. Towards the latter end of his days, find- 
ing he was become formidable, he began to affect a pompous 
and splendid way of living, and provided great store of rich 
hangings, jewels, and plate, for the adornment of his palace. 
Alibis business was dispatched by himself, or by his direc- 

* Madelaine of France, daughte. of King Charles VII., was born on 
the 1st of December, 1443. and betrothed to the King of Hungary in 
1457. In 1461 she married Gaston de Foix, Prince of Viane; and she 
died in 1486. 



90 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1483, 

tion : lie had also an inclination to make himself terrible to 
liis own subjects, and became a very tyrant towards his latter 
end ; after which he fell into a grievous and incurable dis- 
temper, as it were in his youth (for he was but eight-and- 
twenty* years of age), and died: his life having been one 
continued scene of labour and sorrow, without any great 
pleasure or ease. 

The Turk, whom I mentioned before, was a wise and 
valiant prince, but he made more use of his cunning than of 
his courage. His father f also was a valiant prince, who took 
Adrianople (that is to say, the city of Adrian), ami left his 
son very great ; and this son, at the age of twenty-three, 
took Constantinople!, or the city of Constantine ; I have 
seen Ids portrait painted at that age, which represented him 
vigorous and sprightly. It was a great disgrace to all 
Christendom to suffer that city to be lost ; he took it by 
assault, and the Emperor of the East§ (whom we called 
Emperor of Constantinople) was slain in the breach. Many 
brave men were killed with him in this assault, many great 
ladies ravished, and no manner of cruelty was omitted. This 
was his first exploit, but he continued to perform great ac- 
tions, and so many, that I heard a Venetian ambassador say 
once in the presence of Charles, Duke of Burgundy, that this 
Mahomet had conquered two empires, four kingdoms, and 
two hundred cities; he meant, indeed, the empires of Con- 

* As might have been expected, from his having no personal know- 
ledge of Hungarian affairs, Commines falls into many inaccuracies about 
Matthias Corvinus, who was forty-eight years old when he died, in the 
year 1490. His election to the kingdom is to be ascribed far less to any 
intrigues of his mother than to the aversion felt by the Hungarian nobles 
to the character and Austrian connections of the Emperor Frederic III., 
the other candidate for the crown. 

f Amurath II. succeeded his father Mahomet I. in 1421, and died in 
1451. 

f; The siege of Constantinople began on the 6th of April, 1453, and 
the city was taken on the 29th of May following. — See Gibbon's 
Roman Empire, chap. 68. 

§ Constantine Palseologus XIV., sur named Dragases, was born in 
February, 1403, and succeeded to his fathers throne in November, 1448. 
He fought bravely in defence of his capital, and when he found resist- 
ance unavailing, " he folded around him the imperial mantle, and re- 
membered ths name which he represeoted in the dignity of heroic 
death." 



1483.] EXAMPLE OF MAHOMET THE GREAT 91 

ptantinople and Trebizond * ; the kingdoms of Bosnia, Syria, 
Armenia, and I think Morea was the fourth. He conquered 
likewise many fair islands in the Archipelago (where the Vene- 
tians have twof settlements), among others, Negropont and 
Mitylene ; besides which he subdued nearly all Albania and 
Sclavonia : and as his conquests were great over the 
Christians, so were they no less considerable over those of 
hi3 own religion, among whom he destroyed several great 
princes, as the Prince of CaramaniaJ, and others. 

The greatest part of his affairs were transacted by himself, 
according to the practice of our king and of the king of 
Hungary : and these three were without all dispute the 
wisest princes that had reigned for a hundred years. But 
the generosity of our master's conversation, and his libera- 
lity to his servants, as well as to foreigners and others, dis- 
tinguished him very much from the other two ; and it is no 
wonder, for he was styled the most Christian King. As to 
worldly pleasures and enjoyments, this Turk had his share, 
and spent most of his time in them ; and, indeed, he would 
have done more mischief to Christendom, had he not been 
so employed. He indulged himself in all kinds of sensuality, 
and was strangely given to gluttony, which brought him 
numberless diseases, which continued upon him as long as he 
lived. Every spring he had a swelling in his legs, that 
made them as big as a man's waist (as I have heard from 
those who have seen it) ; and the swelling never broke, but 
dispersed of its own accord, and no surgeon could tell what 
to make of it, but all agreed his gluttony was the occasion of 
it, though perhaps it was a judgment from heaven ; and one 
reason why he suffered himself to be seen so seldom, and 
kept himself shut up in his seraglio, was, lest he should dis- 
cover that infirmity, and grow contemptible to his subjects. 
He died about the fifty-second year of his age, and suddenly; 
yet he made a will, and I have seen it, and, if it be true, he 

• The empire of Trebizond was overthrown by Mahomet in 1461. 

f The Venetian settlements of Modon and Coron in the Morea were 
surrendered to the Turks in the year 1500. 

% Caramania, a province of Asiatic Turkey, on the south of Anatolia. 
Its emirs were formerly powerful princes; but Mahomet II. greatly 
weakened them in 1440, and his son Bajazet i icorporated their domi« 
nioiis with the Turkish empire in 1488. 



92 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1483 

seemed to have some remorse for a tax which he had lately 
laid upon his subjects. Let Christian princes therefore con- 
sider what they do, since they have no reasonable power to 
raise money, without the permission and consent of their 
people. 

Thus have you seen the death of many illustrious persons 
in a short time, who had borne so much sorrow, and endured 
so many fatigues, only to extend their dominions, and ad- 
vance their fame and glory, as perhaps tended not only to 
the shortening of their lives, but to the endangering the 
welfare of their immortal souls. I am not speaking here of 
the Turk, for I question not but that he is gone to his prede- 
cessors, but of our king and the rest, on whom I hope God 
will have mercy. But to speak freely (as one that is no 
great scholar or genius, but has had some experience in the 
world), would it not have been better for them, and for all 
other great princes and subjects whatever, to choose a middle 
course in all their desires ; that is, not to be so solicitous 
and careful about temporal things, and have such vast and 
unreasonable designs in view ; but to be more cautious 
of offending God, oppressing their subjects, and invading 
their neighbours, by so many cruel and unchristian ways, as 
I have mentioned before, and rather employ their time in 
tranquillity and innocent diversions? Their lives would be 
longer, their infirmities the later in coming, their deaths less 
desirable to other people, and less terrible to themselves. 
Can we desire any clearer examples to prove how poor and 
inconsiderable a creature man is, how short and miserable 
his life, and how little difference there is betwixt princes 
and private persons, since as soon as they are dead, whether 
rich or poor, their bodies become abominable, all people fly 
and shun them, and their souls are no sooner separated but 
they prepare to receive their doom, which is given by God 
at that very instant of time, according to every man's works, 
fcnd bodily deserts. 



1484. REIGN OF KING CHARLES VIII. 93 



BOOK THE SEVENTH. 



C H- I. — How Duke Rene of Lorraine came into France to demand the 
Duchy of Bar and the County of Provence, which King Charles had 
in His Possession; and how he failed to obtain the Kingdom of 
Naples, to which he laid Claim as well as the King; and what Eight 
each had thereto. — 1484 — 6. 

To continue these Memoirs, which were begun by me, Philip 
de Commines, concerning the exploits and reign of our late 
king, Louis XL (whom God absolve!), I will now give you 
an account how it came to pass that his son, Charles VIII., 
undertook his expedition into Italy, in which I was engaged. 
The king set out from Vienne*, in Dauphiny, on the 23rd of 
August, 1494, and returned into his kingdom in October of 
the year 1495. Before he undertook this enterprise, it was 
warmly debated whether he should go or not, for by all per- 
sons of experience and wisdom it was looked upon as a very 
dangerous undertaking ; nor indeed was anybody in favour 
of it but himself, and one Stephen de Vers, a native of Lan- 
guedoc, a man of mean extraction, and who had never seen or 
had the least knowledge of military affairs. It was also pro- 
moted at first by one Brissonet f, who was one of the generals 
of the finances, but his heart soon failed him. However. 

* Charles VIII. set out from Grenoble, on his journey into Italy, on 
tin- 29th of August, 1494. He had previously resided for four months 
at Vienne, and left that city for Grenoble on the 23rd of August, as is 
stated in the text. 

t Guillaume Briconnet was the son of Jean Briconnet, Lord of 
Varennes, Secretary to the King, and Receiver-General of the Finances. 
He at first embraced his father's profession, and was appointed General 
of the Finances in Languedoc by Louis XI. In 1490 he was installed 
in the bishopric of St. Malo, and created Chief Superintendent of the 
Finances. In 1495 he received a cardinal's hat; in 1497 he was 
translated to the archbishopric of Rheims, and performed the ceremony 
of consecrating Louis XIL ; and he died at Narbonne, of which he wsw 
archbishop, in 1514. 



94 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [148L 

this expedition turned much to his advantage afterwards, for 
he obtained great preferment in the church, was made a 
cardinal, and was endowed with several benefices. De Vers 
had acquired a plentiful estate before, and was seneschal of 
Beaucaire, and president of the accounts at Paris, for he had 
served the King in his youth faithfully, in quality of gentle- 
man of the bed-chamber ; and, by his persuasion, Monsieur 
Brissonet was brought over to his party, so that they two 
were the chief promoters of this expedition, for which few 
persons praised them, and many censured them ; because not 
only were all things necessary for so great an enterprise 
wanting, but the king was young, foolish, and obstinate, 
without either money, officers, or wise councillors. So tliat 
before he began his march he was forced to borrow a hun- 
dred thousand francs from the bank of Soly at Genoa* at 
an extravagant interest, and from mart to mart, besides what 
he collected in other places, as you shall hear hereafter. 
They had neither tents nor pavilions, though it was winter 
when the army entered into Lombardy: one thing, indeed, 
was very handsome, and that was a brigade of young gentle- 
men, who were lively and brisk, but under little command 
or discipline. So that we may conclude this whole expedi- 
tion, both going and coming, was conducted purely by God; 
for, as I said before, the wisdom of the contrivers of this 
scheme contributed but little. However, they may boast of 
this, that they were the occasion of highly advancing the 
honour and glory of their king. 

As soon as the King was fourteen or fifteen years old, at 
which age he was crowned f, the Duke of Lorraine;}: came 
to him to demand the duchy of Bar, which King Louis XL 
had kept from him, and the county of Provence, which King 

* By letters patent, issued at Lyons on the 30th of April. 1494, 
Charles VIII. authorises Master Pierre de Lignac to receive and distri- 
bute at Milan a sum of 20,000 ducats " for the payment of the troops 
we are raising in that neighbourhood to serve in our army for the con- 
quest of our kingdom of Naples." This money was borrowed from 
the bank of Paul Sauli at Genoa, as is proved by a receipt in the 
writing of Pierre de Lignac, which still exists, and is printed in Du- 
pont, ii. 292. 

t Charles VIII. was born on the 30th of June, 1470, and consecrated 
at Eheims on the 30th of May, 1484. 

X liene II. See note, Vol. L p. 242. 



1481.] BAR RESTORED TO THE DUKE OF LORRAINE. 95 

Charles of Anjou, his cousin-german, dying without issue, 
left to Louis XL by his last will and testament.* The Duke 
of Lorraine laid claim to it, as being son to the daughter of 
Rene, King of Sicily, Duke of Anjou, and Count of Pro- 
fence, and alleged that the King of Sicily had highly injured 
aim, for that the said Charles of Anjou was but his nephew, 
ion of his brother, the Count du Maine, whereas he was 
descended from his daughter. But King Charles pretended 
that Provence could not be transferred by will to a daughter. 
The conclusion of this affair was, Bar was restored for a sum 
of money, which the king demanded; and the Duke of 
Lorraine being in great favour, and having many friends at 
court (especially John, Duke of Bourbon, who was old, and 
desirous to marry his sister t), had a lucrative post J, and 
the command of a hundred lances given him by the king, 
and a pension of thirty-six thousand francs for four years §, 
during which time his title to Provence was to be examined 
into. I was one of the council || which was chosen for this 
purpose, partly by the King's relations, and partly by the 
three Estates of the kingdom. Stephen de Vers, whom I men- 
tioned before, and who had got some estate in Provence, and 
vvho had in his head the expedition to Naples, persuaded the 
King, young as he was, to declare (in the presence of his 
sister, the Duchess of Bourbon %) to the Count de Com- 

* Dated December 10, 1481. See Lenglet, iii. 334. 

f Of the three sisters of the Duke of Lorraine, two only were living 
in 1484; namely, Yolande, who married the Landgrave of Hesse in 
1496; and Margaret, who married Rene, Duke of Alencon, in 1488. 
As the Duke of Bourbon did not lose his second wife, Catherine of 
Armagnac, until March, 1487, he must, if Commines be right, have 
formed the project of a matrimonial alliance with the Duke of Lorraine 
during her lifetime. 

t By letters patent, dated on the 7th of August, 1486. King Charles 
VIII. appointed the Duke of Lorraine his Grand Chamberlain, "with 
all the perquisites and pre-eminence attaching to the office." 

§ This pension was to become due on and after the 1st of October, 
1483. 

|| The Lord of Argenton was included in the List of Councillors of 
the King, drawn up immediately after the death of Louis XL He was 
also one of the fifteen persons suggested to the States-General as most 
worthy to constitute the council of the young King. — Masselin, 123. 

■[[ She did not obtain the title of Duchess of Bourbon until after the 
death of her brotuer-iu-law John II., which occuwel on the 1st of 
April, 1488 



96 THE MEMOIRS OF THILIP DE COMMINES. [l4S4s 

minges, the Lord du Lau (who were both likewise of the 
council), and myself, that we should have a care he did not 
lose the county of Provence; and this was done before the 
above-mentioned agreement was made. 

Before the expiration of the four years, some clerks of 
Provence produced a new will of King Charles I.*, brother to 
St. Louis, and the wills of other kings of Sicily of the house of 
France. By these it was pretended, that not only the county 
of Provence belonged to the king, but the kingdom of Sicily 
also, and other places possessed by the house of Anjou, and 
that the Duke of Lorraine had no title to any of them (which 
other people denied). And those who were against the 
Duke of Lorraine's title, addressed themselves to this Stephen 
de Vers, who persuaded his master that the last King 
Charles, Count of Provence, son of Charles of Anjou, Count 
du Maine, and nephew to King Rene, had left it to him by 
his will ; for King Rene had made him his heir before he 
died, and preferred him before the Duke of Lorraine, who 
was his daughter's son ; and this, they urged, was done by 
King Rene, in consideration of the wills of Charles I. and 
his wife, the Countess of Provence, by which they had en- 
joined that that kingdom and the county of Provence should 
not be separated, nor descend to a daughter, whilst there was 
a son living of their line. And they affirmed that the wills 
of their immediate successors, and particularly the will of 
Charles II. f , were to the same effect. 

* Charles I., King of Naples, was the son of Louis VIIL of France 
He married Beatrice, Countess of Provence and Forcalquier, and died 
on the 7th of January, 1295. He was invested with the kingdom of 
Sicily by Pope Clement IV., who charged him to conquer it, which he 
did, after a severe struggle with Manfred and Conradin, the legitimate 
possessors of the crown. But his reign was of short duration: tha 
Sicilian Vespers overthrew his tyranny in 1282, and separated the 
kingdom of Sicily from that of Naples. 

f Charles II., son of Charles I., King of Sicily, was a prisoner in the 
hands of the Sicilians at the period of his father's death in 1285. He 
was set at liberty in 1288, in pursuance of a treaty by which he acknow- 
ledged the separation and independence of the two crowns of Napleg 
and Sicily; but Pope Nicholas IV., by whose influence the treaty wai 
made, broke it, released Charles from his oath, and authorised him to 
begin the war anew. This war, which lasted twenty-four years, occu- 
pied without lustre the whole reign of Charles H. He died on the 5\h 
Of May, 1309. 



1485.] NAPLES REBELS AGAINST F ERRAND. 97 

During these four years, tliey that had the management 
of the king (who were the Duke and Duchess of Bourbon, 
and a chamberlain named the Lord of Graville *, and other 
lords of his bed-chamber, who at that time had great power) 
sent for the Duke of Lorraine to court, and put him into 
places of great trust and authority, in order that, as he was 
a person of a more enterprising temper than most of the 
courtier*, he might aid and assist them in their under- 
takings] - ; besides, they questioned not to find a way to get 
rid of him when they had no further need of him, as they 
did afterwards, when they found they were strong enough to 
manage affairs by themselves, and that the power of the 
Duke of Orleans* and the rest of the nobility in his faction 
was weakened. But after the expiration of the four years, 
the Duke of Lorraine refused to stay any longer at court, 
unless they would either put him into possession of the 
county of Provence, or secure it to him in writing at a fixed 
time, and meanwhile continue his pension of thirty-six 
thousand francs : to which they would not agree ; so the 
Duke of Lorraine left court, highly disgusted with their 
conduct. 

Four or five months before his leaving the court, a very 
lucky adventure happened to him, if he had known how to 
make use of it. The whole kingdom of Naples rebelled § 
against King Ferrand ||, for his and his son's tyranny; and 
all the barons, and three parts of the kingdom, submittal 
themselves to the Church. But King Ferrand, with the 

• Louis Malct, Lord of Graville, and one of the king's chamberlains, 
was appointed Admiral of France in 1486, and resigned that post in 
favour of his son-in-law, Charles d'Amboise, Lord of Chaumont, in 
150S. He died on the 30th of October, 1516, aged seventy-eight years. 

(■ The Duke of Lorraine made a written promise to the Duke and 
Duchess of Bourbon, dated at Bar, on the 29th of September, 1484, that 
he would support the young king. 

% Louis d'Orleans, son of Charles, Duke of Orleans, and Mary of 
Cleves, succeeded to the throne of France in 1498, under the title of 
Louis XII. He was born on the 27th of June, 1462; crowned on the 
27th of May, 1498; and died on the 1st of January, 1514. He was the 
chief opponent to the Duchess of Bourbon's claim to the Regency, during 
the minority of Charles VIII. 

$ This revolt broke out on the 25th of October, 1485. — Sismondi, 
si. 265. 

y See note, Vol. I. p. 313. 

vol. n. is 



98 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [I486. 

assistance of the Florentines, pressed them very hard ; upon 
which the Pope* and the rehel lords of the kingdom sent to 
the Duke of Lorraine, to make him king ; and they were so 
far in earnest in the matter, that their galleys, and the Car- 
dinal of Saint Peter ad Vinculaf, waited tor him a long 
time at Genoa, whilst he was quarrelling at the French court, 
though ambassadors from all the nobility of Naples were with 
him, pressing him daily to depart. 

The result of all was, the king and his council expressed 
great readiness to assist him. He was promised sixty thou- 
sand francs, and received twenty thousand of them ; the rest 
he lost. He had leave to carry his hundred lances along with 
him, and was told that the king would send ambassadors tc 
foreign courts in his favour. However, though the king was 
now nineteen years of age, yet he was still governed by the 
persons above-named, who were always telling him of his un- 
doubted title to the kingdom of Naples (which I insert the 
rather, because persons of little consideration are often ca- 
pable of raising great troubles), as I learned from several of 

* Gian Battista Cibo, Cardinal of Melfi, was elected Pope on the 29th 
of August, 1484, and assumed the title of Innocent VIII. At the time 
of his elevation to the supremacy he was about fifty-five years of age, 
and had several natural children. He was quite as corrupt as his pre- 
decessor, Sixtus IV., but endued with far less talent and energy. He 
married his son, Franceschetto Cibo, to a daughter of Lorenzo de' 
Medici; and this alliance afterwards procured to his posterity the duchy 
of Massa-Carrara. In 1489 he gave a cardinal's hat to Giovanni de' 
Medici, afterwards Leo X. By venality in the distribution of justice, 
by monopoly, and by the ignorance and carelessness of his administra- 
tion, he brought Home into a state of poverty and humiliation previously 
unexampled. He died on the 25th of July, 1492, the most despised, but 
not the most detested, of the Popes who had yet filled the chair of St. 
Peter. 

f Giuliano della Kovere, Cardinal of St. Peter ad Vincula, and 
Bishop of Avignon, was elected Pope on the 1st of November, 1503, 
under the title of Julius II. Although violent and irascible, he had a 
strong sense of his duty as a pontiff and as an Italian. He was deter- 
mined on preserving the States of the Church intact for his successors. 
He rejected all nepotism, all aggrandisement of his family; and would 
have accused himself of unpardonable weakness if he had suffered others 
to usurp what he refused to give his family. With these motives, he 
made his tiara a helmet and his crosier a swerd. After having driven 
the French out of Italy, and restored the Medici at Florence, he died of 
an inflammatory disease on the 21st of February, 1513. See his life in 
IUnhk h History of the Popes, ia Bomfs Standard Library* 



148b. j LOhrtAINE's OPPORTUNITY LOST. 99 

the Duke ot Lorraine's ambassadors to Rome, Florence, 
Genoa, and elsewhere, and also from the duke himself as he 
passed by Moulins, where I then resided with John Duke 
of Bourbon, upon account of a dispute with the court. At 
that time the Duke of Lorraine's opportunity was half lost 
already by his own delay; however. I went out to meet him, 
, though I had no obligation to do so, for he was partly the 
occasion of my being driven from court, and had given me 
very abusive language. But nobody was now so dear to 
him as I ; he caressed me at a most extravagant rate, and 
complained heavily of those who had the present adminis- 
tration of affairs. He continued two days with John Duke 
of Bourbon, and then he set out for Lyons. 

In short, his friends were so weary and tired with waiting, 
that both Pope and barons came to an accommodation* with 
King Ferrand ; in reliance upon which, when the barons 
ventured to Naples, they were all seized and imprisoned f, 
though the Pope, the Venetians, the King of Spain, and the 
Florentines, had all of them guaranteed the observance of 
the peace, and had promised and sworn to secure their safety. 
The Prince of Salerno \ escaped into France, refusing to be 
comprehended in the treaty of accommodation, as he knew 
the revengeful temper of King Ferrand; and the Duke of 
Lorraine returned with great shame and dishonour into his 
own country. He never afterwards had any credit with our 
king, who took away his lances, stopped his pension of 
thirty-six thousand francs for the county of Provence ; and 
in that condition he stands to this very day, which is the 
year 1497. 

* Peace was concluded on the 11th of August, 1486. 

tf In contempt of his plighted word, Ferdinand ordered the arrest of 
the Princes of Altamura and Bisignano, and of several other gentlemen, 
who were immediately put to death, and their bodies sewn up in sacKS, 
and thrown into the sea. — Sismondi, xi. 278. 

X Antonio de Sanseverino, Count of Marsico and Prince of Salerno, 
»u Grand Admiral of Naples in 1477, and died in 1437 






b a 



100 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMtNLS. [I486. 



Ch. II. — How the Prince of Salerno, a Neapolitan by Birth, came 
into France ; and the Endeavours that were used by him and Ludovic 
Sforza, surnamed the Moor, to persuade the King to make War upon 
the King of Naples ; and the Occasion of it. — 1486-92. 

The Prince of Salerno with three of his nephews, sons 
to the Prince of Bisignan *, fled to Venice, where he had great 
acquaintance. Their business was to consult the senate 
(as the prince told me himself), to know what prince they 
should address themselves to, whether to the Duke of Lor- 
raine, the King of France, or the King of Spain. He told 
me their answer was, that the Duke of Lorraine was a dead 
man, and it was impossible for him ever to relieve them ; 
i hat the King of Spain would be too powerful if he had the 
kingdom of Naples in addition to the isle of Sicily and 
what he possessed already in the Gulf of Venice ; and that 
his strength at sea was very considerable : but they would 
rather advise them to apply to the King of France, for with 
the Kings of France who formerly reigned in Naples, the 
Venetians had held very good friendship and amity ; and 
this I believe was spoken without any anticipation of what 
happened afterwards. The conclusion of all was that these 
barons came into France, where they were well received, 
but indifferently supplied. They solicited very hard for two 
years together ; and all their applications were made to 
Stephen de Vers, at that time seneschal of Beaucaire, and 
chamberlain to the king. 

One day they were in hopes, another in despair. How- 
ever, their friends were active in Italy, especially in Milan, 
where John Galeasf was duke ; not the great Galeas +, who 

* Girolamo de Sanseverino, Count of Tricario and Prince of Bi- 
eignauo, was Grand Chamberlain to Ferdinand I King of Naples. He 
Was treacherously murdered by order of his sovereign in 1487. 

f Gian Galeazzo Sforza succeeded to the dukedom of Milan on the 
assassination of his father, and died in 1494, at the age of twenty-five. 
He was succeeded by his uncle Ludovic the Moor, who was probably 
the cause of his death. 

1 Gian Galeazzo Visconti became Lord of Milan in 1378, on the 
* >ath of his father Galeazzo. In 1395 he obtained from the Emperor 
"fenceslaus a diploma creating him Duke of Milan ; and by a sub- 
sequent imperial diploma the boundaries o/ his duchy were defined, aud 



I486.] AFFAIRS OF MILAN. 101 

is buried in the Chartreux at Pavia, but the son of Duke 
Galeas * and the Duchess Bonaf, a daughter of the House 
of Savoy ; which duke being a weak prince, the Duchess 
had the education of her children ; and I saw her (when she 
was a widow) in great authority, but managed by one of her 
secretaries called Cico J, who had been a long time in that 
family, and had banished or imprisoned all the brothers § of 
this Duke Galeas, in order to secure the duchess and her 
children. Among the rest he banished one Ludovic || (who 
has since become Duke of Milan), whom she afterwards 
recalled, though he was her enemy, and actually in arms 
against her; as she did also the Lord Robert di St. Seve- 
rino^f, a valiant captain whom this Cico had likewise ban- 
ished. 

At last, by the persuasion of one Anthony Tassini **, who 
was her carver (a native of Ferrara, and of mean extrac- 

made to include twenty-five towns, from Verona and Vicefiza on the 
east to Alessandria and Tortona on the west. In 1402 he was only 
waiting for the surrender of Florence to declare himself King of Italy, 
when he died suddenly of the plague. 

* Galeazzo Maria Sforza, son of the eminent Francesco Sforza, suc- 
ceeded his father as Duke of Milan in 1466. Ten years afterwards, on 
the 26th December, 1476, he was assassinated in a solemn procession, 
and in his ducal robes, as he was entering the Church of St. Stefano. 

f Bona of Savoy assumed the regency of the dukedom on the death 
of her husband. 

% Cecco or Francesco Simoneta was a native of Calabria, whose in- 
tegrity and activity had recommended him to the patronage of Duke 
Francesco Sforza. He afterwards became prime minister of Duke 
Galeazzo Maria. On the 11th of September, 1479, he was arrested and 
conveyed to the Castle of Pavia, where he was beheaded on the 30th of 
October, 1480. He was brother to Giovanni Simoneta, whose elegant 
Latin history of the life of Francesco Sforza is one of the best records 
of the transactions of that period. 

§ These were Sforza, Duke of Bari, Ludovic the Moor, Ottaviano, and 
Ascanio Ottaviano soon after perished in attempting to cross the 
river Adde. 

| Ludovico Maria Sforza, surnamed the Moor, was the second son of 
Francesco Sforza. He became Duke of Milan on the death of his nephew 
Gian Galeazzo Sforza, in 1494 ; and he died on the 16th of June, 
1508. 

^1 Kobcrto di Sanscverino, Count of Cajazzo, and Lieutenant-general 
of the armies of Italy. 

** Antonio Tassini, a Ferrarese, Chamberlain to Galeazzo Maria 
Duke of Milan. 

u a 



102 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIILIP DE COMMIXES. [1488. 

tion), she recalled them very indiscreetly; presuming that, 
according to their oaths and promises, they would do no 
barm to Cico. But the third day after their return they 
took Cico, put him in a tub, and carried him through the 
town of Milan ; for he was allied by marriage with one of 
the family of the Visconti, and had he been in the way, it is 
said they would not have dared to seize Cico; and the Lord 
Ludovic contrived that Robert di St. Severino, who was to 
pass that way, might have the pleasure of meeting him in 
that posture, for he knew he abhorred him : after which 
Cico was conducted to the castle of Pavia, where he died a 
prisoner. 

They paid the lady all possible respect, and, as she 
thought, complied with her wishes in everything ; but they 
held private councils among themselves, and never com- 
municated anything to her but what they pleased ; and she 
took it for the greatest kindness in them not to trouble her 
with anything. They gave her leave to give Anthony 
Tassini what presents she pleased : they assigned him an 
apartment near her own, and permitted him to carry her 
on horseback behind him through the town ; and nothing 
but feasting and dancing went on in her palace. This way 
of living did not continue long, scarce half a year, during 
which time she made him many rich presents, and all 
packets were directed to him, which rendered him odious to 
the Lord Ludovic (uncle to the two children *), who in- 
tended to make himself sovereign, as he did afterwards. 
One morning -j- the children were both taken from their 
mother, and carried to a castle called " The Rock ;" where 
they were confined by the appointment of the Lord Ludovic, 
Robert di St. Severino, one Pallevoisin J (the young duke's 
governor), and the captain of the castle §, who, since the 
death of Duke Galeas, had never stirred out of it, nor did he 
for a long time after ; till at length he was taken by the cir- 

* Gian Galeazzo, mentioned in a previous note ; and Hermes, who, 
after liis brother's death, went to reside in Germany 

t They were conveyed to this castle in November, 1480, after the 
banishment of Antonio Tassini. 

X Gian Francesco Pallavicini, one of the young duke's lieutenants. 

§ Filippo Eustachio of Pavia, who was created a knight by the young 
Duke of Milan on Christmas-day in the year 1480. 



1489." DISPUTE BETAVEEN LUDOVIC AND ST. SEVERING-. 103 

cumvention of Ludovic, and the folly of his master, who 
took after his mother, and was far from wise. 

When these persons had secured the children in the 
castle, they seized upon the treasury (which at that time 
was the richest in Christendom), and took an account of it ; 
after which they caused three keys to be made, of which the 
duchess had one, but she never touched one farthing of the 
money afterwards. They made her renounce the guardian- 
ship of her son *, and the Lord Ludovic was appointed in her 
place ; besides which they wrote letters to several places, 
and particularly into France, which I saw, and which con- 
tained severe remarks on her conduct, in relation to her 
favourite Anthony Tassini ; yet they sent him away with- 
out any other punishment, for the Lord Robert was his 
friend, and would not suffer either his person or his estate to 
be touched. But these two great men could not as yet get 
admittance into the castle when they pleased ; for the cap- 
tain had a brother in it, and near a hundred and fifty men ; 
and he always ordered the gate to be very strictly guarded 
when they entered, and would not suffer above one or two 
to come in with them ; and this caution was used for a long 
time. 

In the meanwhile a great dispute arose between the Lord 
Ludovic and Robert di St. Severino, as is usual, for it is im- 
possible for two persons in authority to agree long together ; 
but Ludovic getting the upper hand, the other quitted Mi- 
lan, and went into the Venetian service, f Yet since that 
time, two of his sons, the Lord Galeas j and the Count di 
Cajazzo§, came back into the service of the Lord Ludovic, 
and the state of Milan ; some say they came with their 

* The young: duke was declared of full age on the 7th of October, 
1480 ; and the duchess left Milan on the 2nd of November following. — ■ 
Sismonm, xi. 174. 

t He was declared a rebel on the 27th of January, 1482 ; and in the 
month of March following, the Venetians appointed him their Lieutenant- 
general. 

i Galeazzo di Sanseverino married Bianca, a natural daughter of 
Ludovieo Sforza. He was killed in the battle of Pavia, in February, 
1524. 

§ Gian Francesco di Sanseverino, Count of Cajazzo, died on the 7th 
of September, 1502. He and his brother entered the service of the Duke 
of Milan in 1483. 

ii 4 



104 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1490. 

father's consent, others say not : he it which it will, Lu- 
dovic entertained them very kindly, and they did, and do 
still *, serve him very faithfully. You must know that the 
Lord Robert, their father, was of the house of St. Severinof , 
but by a natural daughter, which in Italy is no great matter ; 
for a natural daughter with them is as good as one lawfully 
begotten. I mention this because they assisted us in our 
enterprise in Italy, in favour of the Prince of Salerno (wlio 
is chief of the house of St. Severino), and for other reasons, 
which you shall hear afterwards. 

The Lord Ludovic began presently to make it appear that 
he was resolved to establish his authority; and he caused 
money to be coined with the Duke's effigy on one side, and 
his own on the other, which caused abundance of the people 
of Milan to murmur. The duke was married to the Duke 
of Calabria's daughter^, who, after the death of his father, 
Ferrand King of Naples, became king himself by the name 
of Alphonso ; the young lady was very courageous, and 
would fain have stimulated her husband to vindicate his 
authority ; but he was a weak prince, and merely disclosed 
all she said. The captain of the castle maintained his repu- 
tation for a long while, and never stirred from his fortress ; for 
suspicions began now to arise, so that both the sons never 
went abroad together, but when one went forth the other 
stayed at home. In short, about a year or two before our 
expedition into Italy, this Lord Ludovic, having been 
abroad with the young duke, waited on him back to the 
castle, to receive homage of his subjects. The captain as 
usual ordered the drawbridge to be let down, and advanced 
a little way upon it with some of his officers to receive the 
duke and kiss his hand, according to the usual custom ; the 
duke being at some distance from the bridge, the captain 
was forced to step forward a pace or two; upon which the 
two sons of St. Severino, and others that were with them, 

* This was probably written in 1497. 

f Instead of Sanseverino we should here read Sforza ; for Roberto di 
Sanseverino's mother was Lisa Attendolo, a natural daughter of Muzio 
Attendolo, the father of Franeesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. See note, 
Vol. I. p. 52. 

X Isabella, daughter of Alphonso II., King of Naples. She died io 
1524. 



1492.1 LUDOVIC*S SEIZURE OP THE CASTLE. 105 

■J 

seized on liim and secured him. Those of the castle pulled 
rp the drawbridge, upon which Ludovic, causing the end 
of a candle to be lighted, swore he would cut off their heads 
if they did not surrender the castle before the candle was 
burnt out ; upon which they submitted, and he fortified the 
castle, and put a strong garrison in it tor himself, though all 
was done in the duke's name. Ludovic also caused a charge to 
be made against the captain, upon pretence that he intended 
to deliver up the castle to the emperor, and he seized upon 
several Germans, who (as he gave out) were agents in the 
business, but discharged them again ; and he beheaded one 
of his secretaries * as having been a principal manager of 
that affair, and another for carrying messages betwixt them. 
Ludovic kept the captain a long while in prison, but at last 
he released him, stating that, when the Duchess Bona of 
Milan had once upon a time corrupted one of the captain's 
brothers, and hired him to kill him as he was entering into 
the castle, the captain had prevented it ; and upon that 
account he now spared his life.f Yet I am of opinion, had 
he been guilty of a design of delivering that castle to the 
emperor (who had a double title to it both as emperor! and 
as Duke of Austria, which family claims it likewise), he 
would scarce have pardoned him, for it would have produced 
great disturbance in Italy, and the whole state of Milan 
"would have revolted in a day; for whilst they were under 
the dominion of the emperors, they paid only half a ducat 
taxes ; but now, both clergy, nobility, and people are 
cruelly oppressed, and are, to speak the truth, under a 
perfect tyranny. 

* Ludovico Terzago, a secretary and relative of Ludovico Sforza, wai 
sent by him to Pavia, where he was long kept a prisoner, and eventually 
Starved to death, according to popular rumour. Corio, p. 880. 

f A plot against Ludovic was to have broken out on the 7th of De- 
cember, 1485 ; among the conspirators were two brothers of Captain 
Eustachio. — Corio, p. 866. 

X The duchy of Milan was then a fief of the empire. 



106 TTIE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1492. 



Ch. III. — How the Duchy of Milan is one of the finest and most valuable 
Territories in the World, if relieved from the heavy Tribute which 
oppresses it. — 1492-3. 

The Lord Ludovic, being in possession of this castle, and 
finding all the soldiers belonging to the family devoted to 
his service, resolved to proceed ; for he that is master of 
Milan has the whole government and signory at his mercy ; 
because the principal senators, and those who have the 
charge of other places in that government, have their resid- 
ence in that city. And, for the size of it, I never saw a 
richer or finer country than the duchy of Milan : and if the 
prince could content himself with a yearly revenue of five 
hundred thousand ducats, the subjects would grow only too 
wealthy, and the prince would be secure ; but he raises six 
hundred and fifty or seven hundred thousand ducats every 
year, which is absolute tyranny, and makes the people prone 
to revolutions. Finding himself so near the completion of 
bis wishes, as has been said before, the Lord Ludovic (who 
was married to the Duke of Ferrara's daughter*, by whom 
he had several children) took measures to strengthen himself 
with friends, both in Italy and abroad. He first entered 
into an alliance (for mutual preservation) with the Vene- 
tians-]-, to whom he was a great friend, to the prejudice of 
his father-in-law, from whom, not long before, the Venetians 
had taken a small territory called the PolesanJ, encompassed 
entirely with water, and wonderfully fruitful; which place 
(though but half a league distant from Ferrara) the Vene- 
tians keep to this day, and in it there are two pretty towns, 
Rovigo and Labadio§, which I have seen. This country 
was lost when the Duke of Ferrara made war upon the 

* Beatrice d'Este vr&s married to Ludovico Sforza on the 18th of 
January, 1491 ; and died on the 2nd of January, 1497. She was the 
daughter of Hercules d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, who succeeded his brother 
Borso in 1471. 

f By a treaty dated on the 7th of August, 1484 — Sismondi, xi. 243. 

j Rovigo, the chief town of the Polesina, surrendered to the Venetians 
on the 17th of August, 1482. 

§ Badia, a small town to the west of Rovigo, and near the rigr t bank 
af the Adige. 



1493. J LUDOVIC SOLICITS AN EXPEDITION TO NAPLES. 107 

Venetians at first by himself; but before the end of the 
war Alfonso, Duke of Calabria (whilst his father Ferrand 
was alive \ Count Ludovic with the forces of Milan, the 
Florentines, the Pope*, and the city of Bologna, came in to 
his assistance : yet, when the Venetians were almost con- 
quered, or at least very low, with their treasury exhausted, 
and several of their towns lost, Ludovic made an honourable 
and advantageous peace for them, by which all was to be 
restored to everybody but the poor Duke of Ferrara, who 
had begun the war at the instigation of Ludovic and 
Ferrand, whose daughter he had married ; and the Duke of 
Ferrara was forced to let the Polesan remain in the hands 
of the Venetians, who keep it to this day. It was reported 
that Ludovic had sixty thousand ducats for his pains ; 
whether this be true or false I cannot state ; but I know the 
Duke of Ferrara was of that opinion himself. Ludovic at this 
time was not married to his daughter; and therefore the 
friendship between him and the Venetians subsisted. 

None of all the subjects or relations of John Galeas, Duke 
of Milan, gave the Lord Ludovic the least disturbance in his 
designs upon the duchy except the young duchess, who was a 
wise lady, daughter to Alphonso, Duke of Calabria (as I said 
before), eldest son to Ferrand, King of Naples. In the year 
1493 the Lord Ludovic began to solicit King Charles VIII., 
now reigning in France, to undertake an expedition into 
Italy, to conquer the kingdom of Naples, and to supplant 
and exterminate those who possessed it ; for, whilst they 
were in force and authority, Ludovic durst not attempt what 
he did afterwards; for at that time Ferrand, King of Sicily, 
and Alphonso his son, were both very rich, of great experience 
in war, and had the reputation of being very valiant princes, 
though it appeared otherwise afterwards. t This Ludovic was 
a wise man, but very timorous and humble where he was in 
awe, and false and deceitful when it was for his advantage; 
and this I do not speak by hearsay, but as one that knew 
him well, and had many transactions with him. But to 
proceed, in the year H93 he began to tickle King Charles 

* Pope Sixtus IV. 

t The arrival of Charles VIII. in Italy, and his early successes, 80 
terrified Alphonso, that he abdicated the crown in favour of his son. 



108 THE MEMOIRS DF PIIILIP DE COMMINES. [1493. 

(who w;is but twenty-two years of age) with the vanities 
and glories of Italy, remonstrating (as is reported) the right 
which he had to the fine kingdom of Naples, which he knew 
well enough how to blazon and display. He addressed him- 
self in everything to Stephen de Vers (who was now be- 
come seneschal of Beaucaire, and was much enriched, though 
not yet to the full height of his ambitious desires) and to 
Genera] Brissonet, who was rich and well skilled in the 
management of the finances, and a great friend of the sene- 
schal of Beaucaire, by whose means the Lord Ludovic per- 
suaded Brissonet to turn priest, and he would make him a 
cardinal ; hut the seneschal was to have a duchy. 

For the better management of these affairs, the Lord 
Ludovic, in the year 1493, sent a great embassy to the king 
at Paris. The chief of the embassy was the Count di Ca- 
jazzo, eldest son of Robert di St. Severino (whom I men- 
tioned before). At Paris the Count di Cajazzo met the 
Prince of Salerno, who was his cousin, and chief of the 
house of St. Severino, and who, having been banished his own 
country by King Ferrand, was then in France, pressing and 
soliciting our king to an enterprise against Naples. With 
the Count di Cajazzo came also Count Charles de Belle- 
joyeuse *, and the Lord Galeas Visconti t of Milan : both of 
them were well attended, and in great splendour ; but their 
discourse was only in public, and then in general terms by 
the way of compliment and visitation ; and this was the 
first solemn embassy that ever Ludovic sent to the king. He 
had formerly sent one of his secretaries to endeavour to pro- 
cure that his nephew, the Duke of Milan, might be permitted 
to do hone age for Genoa, by proxy, which was granted 
against all reason. It is true, the king was at liberty to do 
him that favour, and depute some person or other to receive 
his homage; for, when he was under the guardianship of 
his mother, I (being then ambassador at Milan for the late 
King Louis XI.) received it by commission from the king in 
the castle of Milan ; but then Genoa was out of his hands, 



* Carlo Balbiano, Count of Belgioioso. 

t Galeazzo Visconti was one of those Milanese nobles who nomi- 
nated Ludovic the Moor, Duke of Milan, in 1494, to the prejudice o( 
Francesco Sforza. 



1493.] MILANESE AMBASSADORS IX PARIS. 109 

and in the possession of Baptista di Campoforgoso *, and 
now the Lord Ludovic had recovered it, ami gave eight 
thousand ducats (to some chamberlains of t lie king) to have 
the investiture of it But they did their master a mighty 
injury thereby, for they might have had Genoa for him if 
they had wished ; or, it it must be sold, why for so little ; 
a9 Duke Galeas paid my master, King Louis, fifty thousand 
ducats at one payment, of which sum I had thirty thousand 
crowns given me by his majesty, whom may God pardon ! 
and yet they pretended they received the eight thousand 
ducats by the king's consent. Stephen de Vers was one of 
the number of those that received the money, and I think he 
beat down the price to prepare and oblige Ludovic to back 
his interest, when his design should be fit for execution. 

The ambassadors having arrived at Paris (as I said be- 
fore), and having had their public audience, the king took 
the Count di Cajazzo into his closet, and had a private con- 
ference with him for some time. This Count di Cajazzo 
was in great reputation in Milan, and his brother Galeas di 
St. Severino was in greater credit, especially in military 
affairs ; and he began to make large offers of his service and 
assistance to the king, both in men and money ; for his 
master had already as absolute a command of the state of 
Milan as if it had been his own, and could dispose of it as 
he pleased. He represented the business very easy to the 
king, and a few days after, he and the Lord Galea9 took 
their leave of his majesty and departed ; but Count Charles 
de Bellejoyeuse remained behind, to promote the business, 
and immediately after they were gone, he dressed himself in 
the French habit, and managed the affair so dexterously, 
that several of the courtiers began to approve of the design. 
The king sent into Italy one Peron de Bashe-j* (educated in 
the family of Anjou, under John, Duke of Calabria) as his 
ambassador to Pope Innocent, the Venetians, and the Flo- 
rentines. These embassies from one court to another, and 
secret negotiations, continued seven or eight months, and 

* In 1478 the Genoese revolted from Milan, proclaimed their inde- 
pendence, and elected Baptists Fregosi as their doge ; but in 1487 
they were again reduced to subjection to the dukes of Milan. 

t Perron de Bachi, son of Berthol de Bachi, one of the equerries ci 
Louis, King of Naples. 



110 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIF DE OOMMINES. [1493. 

among those who were pri\y to it, the enterprise was talked 
of in several ways ; but none of them ever imagined that 
the king designed to go himself in person. 



Ch. IV. — How King Charles VIII. made Peace with the King of the 
Romans and the Archduke of Austria ; and returned the Lady Mar- 
garet of Flanders to them, before his Expedition to Naples. — 1493. 

During this suspension of affairs, a peace was negotiated at 
Senlis * betwixt the king and the Archduke of Austria, heir 
to the house of Burgundy, for, though a truce w;is already 
concluded f , yet new occasion of difference had arisen; for 
the king forsook the daughter of the King of the Roman9, 
and sister to the archduke (upon account of her being too 
young X), and married the daughter § of Francis, Duke of 
Bretagne, that he might keep that duchy peaceably ; the 
greatest part of it at the time of the treaty was in his pos- 
session, except the town of Rennes, where the young lady 
lived, under the guardianship of her uncle, the Prince of 
Orange, who had been instrumental in making the match 
between her and the King of the Romans, and married her 
by proxy publicly in the church, about the year 1492. In 
favour of the archduke, the Emperor Frederick sent a 
solemn embassy, and offered his mediation. The King of 
the Romans, the Count Palatine, and the Swiss did the like, 
in order to compose this difference ; for they all were of 
opinion great disputes would arise ||, and that the King of 

* This treaty was dated at Senlis, on the 23rd of May, 1493. It is 
printed at the end of this chapter. 

f At Frankfort, on the 22nd of July, 1489. 

j Margaret was then thirteen years old. 

§ Anne, Duchess of Bretagne, was born on the 26th of January, 1476 ; 
in 1490 she was married by proxy to the Archduke Maximilian ; but, 
preferring Charles VIII., she was married to him on the 6th of De- 
cember, 1491 ; she became a widow in April, 1497, and on the 8th of 
January following she married Louis XII., her deceased husband's suc- 
cessor on the throne of France. She died on the 9th of January, 1574. 

| It is evident, from couteniporarv documents, that the emperor wa» 



1493-1 PEACE OF SF.NMS. Ill 

the Romans had had very greac in ury done him ; not only to 
take from him a person whom lie thought was his wife, but 
to send back his daughter who had been lawfully Queen of 
France for several years together. 

In the end, a peace was concluded ; for everybody was 
weary of war, especially Archduke Philip's subjects, who 
had suffered so much both by tlieir wars with the king and 
their distractions and divisions at home, that they were not 
able to carry it on any longer. The peace was made only 
for four years, to give some repose ; and Maximilian's 
daughter was to be sent back, though with some difficulty ; 
for there were some persons about both the king and tha 
lady who strenuously opposed it. I was present at this 
treaty myself, with the rest of the commissioners, who were 
Peter, Duke of Bourbon, the Prince of Orange, the Lord des 
Cordes, and several other persons of quality. It was con- 
cluded, that all the king was possessed of in the province of 
Artois should be restored to Duke Philip, according to the 
agreement made in the treaty of marriage in 1482, that if 
that marriage were not accomplished, then all the lands 
which went in dower with the daughter, should be restored, 
either to her or Duke Philip. But the archduke's subjects 
had already taken Arras and St. Omers *, so that there 
remained nothing to he restored but Hesdin, Aire, and 
Bethune ; the revenue and lordship of which places 
were immediately delivered to the archduke's envoys, and 
they put in what officers they pleased, only the king was 
to remain in possession of the castles tor the term of 
four years : during which time he might put what garri- 
sons he pleased into them ; but at the end of four years, 
which were to expire on St. John's Day, 1498, the king was 
obliged, both by oath and promise, to restore them to the 
archduke. 

Whether these changes of marriages were according to 
the laws and canons of the church or not, I cannot resolve, 
and, therefore, shall leave it without any determination ; for 

really making preparations for war with the King of France on account 
of this twofold insult to his family. — See Dupont, iii. 360. 

* Arras was taken by the Burgundians on the 5th of November, 
1-492. They had recovered St. Omer on the 11th of February, 1488. — 
Mulinlt, ixi. 447. 



112 THE MEMOIRS OF THILIP DE COMM1NES. [1493k 

I find the theological doctors divided about this point, and 
some have told me they were not lawful, but others have 
maintained that they were. Be it which way it will, the 
ladies were all unfortunate in their children. Our queen 
had three sons * successively in four years, but all of them 
died, though one lived to be three years old. The Lady 
Margaret of Austria was married to the Prince of Castile t, 
only son to the King and Queen of Castile and several other 
kingdoms; which prince died in the first year of his mar- 
riage, (which was in the year 1487), leaving his princess 
with child, and she miscarried of a son not long after his 
death, to the unspeakable affliction of the King and Queen 
of Castile, and the whole kingdom. 

Presently after these changes, the King of the Romans 
married the daughter J of Galeas, Duke of Milan, sister to 
the above-mentioned Duke John Galeas ; which marriage 
was contracted by the Lord Ludovic, highly to the dissatis- 
faction of the princes of the empire, and several other of the 
King of the Romans' friends, who looked upon the lady as 
not of an extraction illustrious enough for him. For, as for 
the Visconti, from whom the present Dukes of Milan are 
descended, there is no great matter of nobility among them, 
and less among the Sforzi ; for the first of that house was 
Duke Francis, whose father was a shoemaker § in a little 
town called Cotignole ; but he was a brave and magnificent 
person, and his son was even greater ; for he made himself 
Duke of Milan, by the assistance and management of his 
wife || (who was the natural daughter of Duke Philip 

* These sons were Charles Orlando, born on the 10th of October, 
J 492, and died on the 6th of December, 1495 ; Charles, born on the 8th 
of September, 149L, and died on the 2nd of October following; and 
Francis, who lived ou*y a few days. — Anselme, i. 125. 

f John, Infante of Castille, died on the 4th of October, 1497. See 
note, Vol. I. p. 394. 

| Bianca Maria, widow of Philibert I., Puke of Savoy, after twelve 
years' widowhood, married the King of the Romans on the 16th of 
March, 1494, and died on the 31st of December, 1510. 

§ Muzio Attendolo, surnamed Sforza, was born at Cotignola, in TJo- 
magvia, on the 28th of May, 1369- At first distinguished for prodigious 
strength of body and undaunted bravery, he soon became equally dis- 
tinguished in military tactics, and was one of the greatest condottieri of 
the fourteenth century. He died on the 4th of January, 1424. 

Bianca Maria Viscomi married Francesco Sforza ou the 28th of 



I4y3. I TREATY OF SENLIS. 113 

Maria) conquered it, and possessed it, not as a tyrant, but 
as ii good and lawful prince ; being equal in virtue and good- 
ness with most (and those of the best) princes of his time. 
Thus much I have written that I might show what has al- 
ready been the consequence of these changes of marriages ; 
nor can I tell what there is still remaining behind. 



A Treaty of Peace between King Charles VIII. and Maxi- 
milian 1., King of the Romans, and his Son, Philip, 
Archduke of Austria, concluded at Senlis, May 23. 1493. 

1. A good peare, firm friendship, and perpetual alliance, 
is and shall ever remain between the most Christian king, 
the dauphin, their kingdom, territories, and subjects, and 
the King of the Romans, and Archduke Philip his son, as 
well in their own name, as in the name of the Lady Margaret 
of Austria, the said king's daughter, and the archduke's 
sister, for themselves, their countries, territories, subjects, 
&c, laying aside all malevolence, and forgetting all past 
injuries. 

2. Seeing that the most Christian king, after his marriage 
to the queen, hath notified by his ambassadors to the King 
of the Romans and the archduke, his desire to send back 
the said Lady Margaret, and to have her conducted suitably 
to her quality, to any place agreed on, and for this end hath 
sent her as far a3 Amiens ; he does still offer, at his own 
charge, to conduct her suitably to her quality, from the town 
of Meaux, where she now resides, before the 3rd of June 
next, to St. Quentin, and to put her from thenceforward into 
the hands of the ambassadors of the King of the Romans 
and the archduke. 

3. Upon such a delivery of the said lady into the hands 
of the commissioners appointed by the King of the Romans 
and the archduke, the said princes shall give proper instru- 

Iments to the king, freeing him from all obligations of mar- 
riage with her, and he shall also do the same by her. 
4. The most Christian king and the archduke reserve to 
themselves the liberty of recovering any rights in an arnica- 
October, 1441, and died on the 23rd of October, 1469, it ia believed oi 
poison. 

vol. n. i 



114 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP I>E COMMIXES. [1193. 

ble way, and by course of law, to such matters as are not 
adjusted by this peace. 

5. The counties of Burgundy, Artois, and Charolois, and 
the lordship of Noyers, with all their appurtenances, shall 
be delivered up to the King of the Romans, as guardian to 
his son the archduke; and also the towns and castles of 
Hesdin, Aire, and Bethune, now in possession of the King 
of France, shall be deposited in the hands of the Marshal 
des Querdes, who shall keep them without any charge to the 
archduke, save the usual profits taken by the commanders of 
the said places; and he shall take, an oath to both the king 
and archduke for the due maintenance of their several 
rights, and shall keep no guard therein, that may be preju- 
dicial to either party ; who shall engage not to force him 
thereunto on either side: and if they do, he shall then be 
discharged of all his oaths, till the archduke shall arrive at 
the age of twenty, which will be on St. John Baptist's Eve, 
in 1498. 

6. The archduke, after he is of age, having done homage 
to the king in due form, those towns and places shall be 
given up to him by the marshal or others appointed to do it, 
and to have the command therein. 

7. The officers shall continue in their places, having com- 
missions from the archduke till he comes of age and does 
homage. 

8. As to the city of Arras, its revenue and temporalities, 
it shall be deposited in the hands of the bishop and chapter, 
to whom it belongs, under the ordinary jurisdiction of the 
bailiwick of Amiens, in the usual manner ; and as to the 
captainship, which is in the king's disposal, he shall be con- 
tent to appoint the person that now is, or shall be, nominated 
by the archduke till of age, under the usual obligations ; but 
the city shall be entirely in the king's power, when the arch- 
duke comes of age. 

9. The houses of Flanders, Artois, and Conflans, in and 
near Paris, shall be delivered to the archduke. 

10. The archduke shall not be obliged to do homage till 
he is of age ; but the king shall, at the same time, enjoy his 
usual rights and prerogatives. 

11. The counties ot Maconnois, Auxerrois, and Bar-sur- 
Seine, shall be enjoyed by the king, till the pretensions of 
the claimants are decided. 



1493.] TREATY OF SENLIS. 115 

12. Whatever rights the archduke pretends to have ac- 
quired by the treaty of 1482, shall remain in being, and the 
king shall be free to controvert the same. 

13. The ecclesiastical preferments conferred by the king 
in Artois, Burgundy, Charolois, and Noyers, shall remain as 
they are. 

14. Free commerce shall be restored both by sea and land, 
and on fresh waters, paying the usual customs due before 
the breaking out of the war. 

15. The cities, towns, and villages of Tournay, Tourne- 
sis, Mortagne, St. Amand, &c, as the king's subjects, are 
expressly comprehended in this peace ; so are the allies of 
both parties. 

16. Cambray and the Cambresis, with all its inhabitants, 
are, by common consent, included in the peace, and main- 
tained in all their rights under either prince to whom they 
belong; and infractors on either side shall be punished by the 
conservators of the peace. 

17. A general act of indemnity shall be granted by both 
parties, to all who have taken up arms, for the contrary 
side, no process being ever to be brought against them : and 
to those who have a mind to sue out a pardon, it shall be 
freely granted. 

18. All persons, as well ecclesiastics as laymen, shall, by 
this peace, return to the peaceable possession of their digni- 
ties, benefices, and inheritances, wherever situated, on either 
side, and be kept in the peaceable possession of the same, 
notwithstanding any declarations, confiscations, sentences, 
and decrees to the contrary; and the judges, magistrates, 
&c, shall be obliged to assist herein. 

19. Under this article of returning to their estates and 
rights are comprehended the, old servants of the late Dukes 
Philip and Charles, who, after the death of Duke Charles, 
went over to the king ; by virtue of this peace, they shall 
enjoy their pensions assigned them in his lifetime, upon the 
demesnes of the counties of Artois and Burgundy. 

20. If any inheritance have been sold for contumacy, or 
on the account of personal debts owing, the debtors shall, 
within a year after the proclaiming of the peace, return to 
their possessions, paying the said debts, &c. 

21. As to the rents, profits, and neomes of those in- 

x a 



116 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMUTES. [1493. 

hei itances, granted in a way of reward, or the like, by either 
party, all that has been done of that kind since 1470, to the 
present peace, shall never be accounted for; but yet with 
an exception to any inheritances that, in due course of law, 
have been adjudged to creditors for arrearages of rents, 
which arrearages have been given away or remitted, such 
gifts or releaseinents shall not take place, but only for such 
arrearages as have escheated in time of war. 

22. As to moveables which have not been made away, 
but are found upon the premises which the subjects of 
either party shall return to, the debts and arrearages that 
have not been given away nor adjudged hy law, shall belong 
to the said subjects, and not to those who have a general 
list of their moveables. 

23. The enjoyment of dignities, benefices, inheritances, &c, 
by the subjects of either party, shall not oblige them to 
reside where those possessions are; neither are they thereby 
bound to take an oath to the prince in whose dominions they 
are situated, unless they are fiefs, and their vassals. 

24. Those who shall return to their estates by virtue of 
this peace, shall not be prosecuted for rent charges escheated 
during the war ; and those lands which lay waste and un- 
cultivated during the war, shall be liable to the payment of 
no rents. 

25. No reprisals shall be made after the peace, upon the 
account of damages sustained by the subjects of either party, 
nor any letters of mart, contramart, or the like granted. 

26. By this peace all the people of Arras, of whatever 
condition, that have absented themselves since the surprise 
of that city, wherever they are, are free to return and traf- 
fic there, notwithstanding any promises or otherwise to the 
contrary. And whether they do return or not, they shall, as 
much as any of the other subjects, enjoy their estates, rights, 
benefices, moveables, and utensils yet in being, without any 
molestation whatsoever. 

27. In like manner the people of St. Omer, of what call- 
ing or quality soever, who resided therein while it was 
neutral, and afterwards by reason of the taking and re- 
taking of it, absented themselves from it, shall, notwith- 
standing any interdiction or sentence against them, return, 
and enjoy their estates, benefices, &c, without any manner 



1493.] SREA.TY OF 8KNI.IS 117 

of molestation ; and all offences and injuries shall be entirely 
remitted. 

28. The Lady Margaret, widow of Charles, late Duke of 
Burgundy, is comprehended in this treaty. The king con. 
sents that she shall enjoy the lands and signories of Chauch- 
nis and la Perriere, with all their appurtenances in the 
viscounty of Auxonne, in the same manner as the late 
Duchess Isabella, the mother of Duke Charles, enjoyed them, 
upon the payment of twenty thousand crowns in gold. 

29. The most Christian king names for his allies, his 
imperial majesty, the kings of Castile, England, Scotland, 
Hungary. Bohemia, and Navarre, the Duke of Bavaria, the 
Count Palatine, and all the dukes and branches of the house 
of Bavaria, the electors of the Holy Empire, the duke and 
house of Savoy, the duke and house of Milan, the doge and 
republic of Venice, the Duke of Lorraine, the Duke of 
Guelderland, the marquis and house of Montferrat, the 
bishop and city of Liege, the Swiss Cantons, the common- 
wealths of Florence and Genoa. And, on the part of the 
said King of the Romans and archduke, his most sacred 
imperial majesty, the kings of Castile, Hungary, Portugal, 
Denmark, England, and Scotland, the electors of the Holy 
Roman Empire, as the king of Bohemia, and others, the 
marquis and house of Montferrat, the bishop and city of 
Liege, and all the princes of the empire, the Swiss Cantons, 
cities and communities of the empire are comprehended. 

30. In this peace are also compreheded the king's coun- 
sellor William de Ilaraucourt, bishop and count of Verdun, 
as well in his own person as for his bishopric and county 
of Verdun, lordships, subjects, &c. So are also, by the 
consent of the said princes, the archbishop, and all the in- 
habitants of Briancon. 

31. The respective parties oblige themselves, in the most 
6olemn manner to the observance of this treaty ; so they do 
also their subjects, vassals, &c. 

32. Any contravention which may happen of this treaty 
on either side, shall be repaired at farthest in the space of 
six weeks. 

33. For the greater confirmation of this peace, the King 
of Fiance will procure for the King of the Romans and the 
archduke, the instruments and seals of the dukes of Orleans, 

I 3 



118 THE MKMOIRS OY PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1493. 

Bourbon, Nemours ; the counts of Angouleme, Montpensier, 
and Vendome ; of the Prince of Orange ; of the marshals and 
admirals of France : and of the cities, towns, and communi- 
ties, of Paris, Rouen, Lyons, Poitiers, Tours, Angers, Or- 
leans, Amiens, and Tournay. And the King of the Romans 
and archduke engage to procure those of the Duke of Saxony, 
Margrave of Baden, the Lord of Ravestein, Counts Nassau 
and Zollern, the Prince of Chimay, and the Lords de Bevres, 
Egmont, Fiennes, Chievres, Walhain, Molembais, du Fay, 
Fresnoy, the great bailiff of Hainault, and the towns and com- 
munities of Louvain, Brussels, Antwerp, Boisleduc, Ghent, 
Bruges, Lisle, Douay, Arras, St. Omer, Mons, Valenciennes, 
Dort, Middleburg, and Namur. And if any shall contra- 
vene this treaty, without making reparation in six weeks, 
these guarantees shall be obliged to leave the contravener, 
and give assistance to the injured party, and be discharged 
of their oaths. 

34. The instruments on both sides shall be registered and 
verified in the most regular and authentic manner. 

35. The conservators of this peace for the marches on the 
side of the country of Burgundy, on the king's part, are, the 
Prince of Orange, M. de Baudricourt, governor of Burgundy, 
and the bailiffs of Dijon, Chalons, Autun, and Macon, or 
their lieutenants. For the marches of Champagne and 
Rhetelois, M. de Orvat, governor of Champagne, the bailiffs 
of St. Peter le Moustier, Troyes, and Vitry, or their lieu- 
tenants; and for the marches of Picardy, the Marshal des 
Querdes, the bailiffs of Amiens and Yermandois, the sene- 
schals of Ponthieu and Boulonnois, and the governors of 
Montdidier and Roye, or their lieutenants ; and for the sea, 
the admiral, &c. The conservators on the King of the 
Romans and the archduke's part, for the marches of Flan- 
ders and Artois, are, M. de Nassau, with the governors of 
Lisle, Arras, and the bailiffs of the said countries respec- 
tively ; for the marches of Hainault, the princes of Chimay, 
and the grand bailiff of Hainault ; for Luxemburg, the Mar- 
grave of Baden ; for Burgundy, the governor of the county 
of Burgundy, and the bailiffs of Damont, Daval, and Dole; 
and for the sea, Monsieur de Braves, admiral, &c. 

36. No manner of protection or shelter shall be given to 
vagrants, thieves, and robbers, on either side ; but they 



1493.] EMBASST TO THE VENETIANS. 1)9 

shall be banished, or otherwise brought to condign punish- 
ment, wherever they are found. 

37. The same thing is to be done in respect to rovers, or 
pirates by sea. 

38. Neither party shall receive or support those who shall 
in any way contravene this peace ; but they shall be punished 
for the infractions they make ; but the peace at the same 
time shall not be held to be violated. 

39. The said princes and their officers shall assist one 
another against all those who shall delay or refuse to keep 
this peace ; and they shall on both sides be taken for com- 
mon enemies ; and those who shall in any way assist or 
favour them, shall in like manner be answerable for the 
mischiefs done by them, and be punished as violators of the 
peace. 



Ch. V. — Mow the King sent to the Venetians, in order to induce them 
to enter into an Alliance with him, before undertaking his Expedition 
to Naples ; and of the Preparations in order to it. — 1493. 

To return to our principal matter : you have already been 
informed how the Count di Cajazzo, and the other ambassa- 
dors, took their leave of the king at Paris ; how several se- 
cret negotiations were carried on in Italy ; and how the heart 
of our king (though he was very young) was strangely bent 
upon this expedition ; which, however, he discovered to 
none but the two persons * above-mentioned. His request 
to the Venetians was that they would give him their assist- 
ance and counsel in his expedition ; and they returned this 
answer: That he should be very welcome in Italy, but that 
they were wholly incapable of assisting him, upon account 
of their continual apprehensions of the Turk f (though at 
that time they were at peace with him) ; and to undertake 
to advise so wise a king, who had so grave a council, would 

* Stephen de Vesc and Briconnet. 
f The Emperor Bajazet IL 

14 



120 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. f J493. 

savour of too much presumption on their part ; but they 
would rather assist than disturb him in his designs. 

This they believed a very discreet answer, and truly so it 
was ; and I am of opinion that their affairs are managed 
with more prudence and discretion at this day, than the 
affairs of any other princes or states in the world : but God 
will still have us know, that the wisdom and policy of man 
is of no avail where He pleases to interpose ; for He orders 
things many times quite otherwise than were expected. The 
Venetians did not imagine that the king would come in 
person, and (whatever they pretended) they had no appre- 
hension of the Turk ; for the Turk who then reigned was 
a man of no courage nor activity. But their design was 
to be revenged upon the House of Arragon, both father and 
son, for whom they had a mortal hatred, because (as they 
said) it was at their instigation that the Turk fell upon them 
at Scutari.* I mean the father of this present Turk, called 
Mahomet Ottoman, who conquered Constantinople, and did 
abundance of mischief besides to the Venetians. They had 
several complaints also against Alphonso, Duke of Calabria, 
and, among the rest, they said that he had been the occasion 
of the war which the Duke of Ferrarahad made upon them, 
which was very expensive, and had like to have proved their 
ruin. They complained also that he had sent a man to 
Venice, expressly to poison their cisterns, at least such as he 
could come at ; for some are kept under lock and key. In 
that city they use no other water (for they are wholly sur- 
rounded by the sea) ; but that water is very good, and I 
drank of it eight months together, in my first embassy 
thither (for I have been there once since). But these were 
not the true reasons of their animosity to the House of 

* The treaty of peace concluded in 1478 between the Sublime Porte, 
Ferdinand of Arragon, and the King of Hungary, enabled Mahomet II. 
to concentrate all his forces against the Venetians. The republic in 
▼ain attempted to enter into ncgociations. Mahomet, certain of the 
success of his arms, refused to treat unless Scutari were surrendered to 
him, and, without waiting for any answer to this proposition, marched 
into Albania. On the 8th of June, 1478, he laid siege to Scutari ; and 
on the 26th of January, 1479, the town and its territory were ceded ta 
him by the Venetians. This Scutari must not be confounded with tht 
suburb of Constantinople, which bears the same name : it is a large 
town, the capital of a pashalic in Northern Albania, 






1493.] TIIE KING ADVANCES TO LYONS. 121 

Arragon ; the real occasion was, because the father and son 
restrained them, and kept them from extending their con- 
quests both in Italy and Greece ; for their eyes were upon 
them on every side, and yet, without any title or pretence, 
they had lately subdued the kingdom of Cyprus.* Upon these 
considerations the Venetians thought it would be highly for 
their advantage if a war should be begun between our king 
and the House of Arragon ; hoping it would not be brought 
to a conclusion so soon as it was, and that it would only 
weaken the power of their enemies and not utterly destroy 
them : and then (let what would happen) one side or the 
other would give them towns in Apulia (which borders 
upon their gulf) in order to have their assistance: and so it 
happened f, but they had like to have been mistaken in their 
reckoning. Besides, they thought to have transacted affairs 
so secretly, that nobody could have accused tin m of inviting 
our king into Italy, since they had neither given him counsel 
nor assistance, as appeared to the world by their answer to 
Peron de Basche. 

In the year 1493, the king advanced to Lyons, to ex- 
amine into his affairs ; but nobody ever imagined he would 
have passed the mountains himself. He was met there by 

* The title of the Venetians to the kingdom of Cyprus rested on the 
following grounds. Catharine Cornaro. the sister of Marco Cornaro, a 
Venetian gentleman, had married Jacopo de Lusignan, King of Cyprus, 
on condition that the republic of Venice should adopt her as a daughter. 
Two years after his marriage, on the 6th of June, 1473, the King of 
Cyprus died, leaving his widow pregnant of a son, who died in infancy. 
The Venetians ih-is became guardians of the kingdom, and soon ren- 
dered themselves odious to the Cypriotes, who made several attempts to 
shake off their yoke, but in vain. In consequence of these revolts and 
of a report that the queen was about to contract a new marriage, the 
Venetians resolved to take full possession of Cyprus : they accordingly 
dctlared that, by the decease of the heir to the crown, the queen had 
inherited the rights of her son, and that the republic in its turn would 
succeed to the rights of the queen, as she was a daughter of St. Mark. 
This decision was conveyed to Catherine, with orders that she should 
come at once to Venice, ami deliver up the reins of government into 
the hands of the Venetians. She obeyed ; and on the 26th of February, 
1489, the standard of St. Mark floated over the palace of Fanutgosta 
and all the fortresses of the island. — Sismondi, x. 398. 

f In return for certain assistance which they promised him, Fer- 
dinand II. made over the towns of Otranto, Brindisi, Trani, Mouopoli, 
and Fuglinano to the Venetians. — Sismonui, xii. 386. 



122 THE MEMOIRS OF THILIP DE COMMINF.S. [1493. 

the Lord Galeas di St. Severino, brother to the Count di 
Cajazzo, with a numerous retinue, on the part of the Lord 
Ludovic, whose lieutenant and chief minister he was. He 
brought with him arms, and abundance of fine horses trained 
on purpose for tournaments. He tilted very well himself, 
for lie was young and a fine gentleman ; and the king enter- 
tained him with great honour and good cheer, and made 
him a knight of his own order; after which he returned into 
Italy, but the Count de Bellejoyeuse still stayed with the king 
to promote his expedition. By this time a great army was 
preparing at Genoa, where the Lord d'Urfe, master of the 
horse, and several others, were negotiating tiie king's affairs. 
At length, ahout the beginning of August, in that year, the 
king removed to Vienne in Dauphiny, and the nobility of 
Genoa resorted to him daily. The king also sent to Genoa 
at that time Louis, Duke of Orleans, now King of France, 
a young prince, and very handsome, but much addicted to his 
pleasures : of him enough has been said in these Memoirs. 
It was the opinion of everybody at that time, that he was 
to conduct the army by sea ; and that it was to be embarked 
and landed in the kingdom of Naples, by the assistance and 
direction of the banished princes of Salerno and Bisignano, 
whom we have mentioned before. They had gotten fourteen 
great ships, besides several galleys and galleons, ready at 
Genoa ; and the king was as much obeyed in those parts as 
at Paris, for the city belonged to the state of Milan, where 
the Lord Ludovic governed, without any competitor but the 
duke his nephew's wife, daughter to King Alphonso (for at 
that time his lather King Ferrand was dead). But the poor 
lady had no great power, since the king's army was ready 
to march, and her husband was a weak prince, and discovered 
whatever she said to his uncle, who had already caused a 
messenger to be drowned whom she had sent to her father. 

The equipping of this fleet was very expensive, and I be- 
lieve cost no less than three hundred thousand francs, which 
quite exhausted the king's treasury; and yet it did him no 
great service after all, for, as I observed before, neither his 
exchequer, his understanding, nor his preparations were 
sufficient for such an important enterprise, and yet he suc- 
ceeded in it by the mere favour of Providence, as was 
visibly manifest to all the world. I do not saj that the 



1493.] AFFAIRS OF NAPLES. 123 

king wanted wisdom, considering his age; but he was but 
two-and-twenty years old*, and not as yet capable of under- 
standing state affairs. Those who were the chief managers 
of this affair (I mean Stephen de Vers, seneschal of Beau- 
caire, and Monsieur Brissonet, at present cardinal of St. 
Malo) were two persons of indifferent fortune, and less ex- 
perience, which made the power of God more conspicuous, 
for our enemies were reputed wise, warlike, and rich, well 
furnished with good counsellors and officers, and in posses- 
sion of the whole kingdom; I speak of Alphonso of Arra- 
gon (newly crowned by Pope Alexanderf), who was sup- 
ported by both the Florentines and the Turks. King 
Alphonso had a son called Don Ferrand, a hopeful gentleman 
of about two or three-and-twenty years old, who wore his 
harness very well, and was extremely beloved in that king- 
dom ; and a brother called Don Frederic (who was king 
after the death of Ferrand), a wise prince, and admiral of 
their fleet, who was educated a long time in our country, 
and whom you, my Lord of Vienne, have often (by your 
skill in astrology) assured me would be king ; and he pro- 
mised me (upon my telling him of it) a pension of four 
thousand livres, if it proved true, as it did twenty years 
afterwards. 

But to proceed. The king changed his resolution, being 
prevailed upon by the Duke of Milan's letters, and by the 
importunity of Charles de Bellejoyeuse, his ambassador, and 
of the two ministers above-mentioned ; but by degrees 
Brissonet's courage began to fail him, finding that all sober 
and rational persons condemned the expedition, as it was to 
begin in August, without money, tents, and everything else 
that was necessary to carry it on ; so that the seneschal was 
the only man that was consulted ; for the king looked coldly 
upon Monsieur Brissonet for three or four days, but was re- 
conciled to him afterwards. About this time one of the 
seneschal's servants died, it was said, of the plague, and he 

* He was twenty-four years old at this time. — See note, p. 94. 

t Kodcric Borgia, a native of Valencia in Spain, was elected Pope 
nnder the title of Alexander VI., on the 11th of August, 1492, and died 
on the 18th of August, 1502. He was a monster of profligacy and 
wickedness, and has been well called by Roscoe "the scourge of Chris- 
tendom, and the opprobrium of the human race." 



124 TIIE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1494 

durst not appear at court ; which was a great mortification 
To him, for there was nohody else to carry on the design. 
The Duke and Duchess of Bourbon were with the king, and 
used all their interest to hinder this expedition, and Mon- 
sieur Brissonet did the same ; so that one day it was laid 
aside, and the next revived. At last the king resolved to 
march, and, thinking to pass the mountains more commodi- 
ously in sirall bodies, I mounted on horseback, and advanced 
before; but I was countermanded, and assured that the de- 
sign was given over. The same day fifty thousand ducats 
were borrowed of a merchant of Milan, but the Lord Lu- 
dovic was the real lender. I was surety for six thousand 
ducats, and others for the rest ; but it was borrowed with- 
out interest. Before that, we had borrowed of the bank of 
Soly, in Genoa, a hundred thousand francs, the interest of 
which in four months amounted to fourteen thousand francs*, 
but some people said the persons above mentioned kept part 
of the money for their own private use. 



Ch. VI. — How King Charles set out from Vierme, in Dauphiny, to con- 
quer Naples in Person; and the Action that was performed by his 
Fleet, under the Command of the Duke of Orleans. — 1494. 

In short, the King, on the 23rd of August, 1494, set out 
from Vienne, and marched straight towards Asti.* At Suza 
the Lord Galeas di St. Severino came post to meet his 
majesty, who advanced from thence to Turint, where he 
borrowed the jewels of Madame de Savoy J, daughter tc 
the late William, Marquis of Montferrat §, and widow to 

* Asti, a city of Piedmont, about twenty-six miles east of Turin. 
Charles VIII. arrived there on Tuesday, the 9th of September, 1494. 
Susa is also a Piedmontese town, at the junction of the two routes across 
the Alps by Mont Cenis and Geneva. 

t The king reached Turin on the 5th of September. 

j Bianca de Montferrat married Charles I. Duke of Savoy, in 1485; 
became a widow on the 13th of March, 1489; and died on the 31st of 
March, 1509. 

§ William "VI., Marquis of Montferrat, succeeded his brother, John 
IV., in 1464, and died on the 28th of February, 1483. 






1494.] TIIE KING REMAINS AT ASTI. 125 

Charles Duke of Savoy. Having pawned them for twelve 
thousand ducats, he removed a few days after to Casale *, 
the residence of the Marchioness of Montferrat f, widow of the 
late Marquis of Montferrat, a young and prudent lady, and 
daughter to the King of Servia. The Turk having overrun 
her country, the emperor (in respect of the relation betwixt 
them) took care of her, and married her there. She also 
lent the king her jewels, and they also were pawned for 
twelve thousand ducats ; by which you may see what an 
unprosperous beginning there was of this war, had not God 
himself directed the enterprise. 

The king continued at Asti for some time. The wines 
in Italy were sour this year, and therefore not at all agree- 
able to the French, any more than the excessive heat of the 
atmosphere. The Lord Ludovic and his wife came with a 
numerous retinue to wait on his majesty ; they staid there 
two days, and then removed to a castle called Annone, about 
a league from Asti, belonging to the duchy of Milan, to which 
place the king's council resorted to him daily. 

King Alphonso had two armies in the field, one in Ro- 
magna, towards Ferrara, under the command of his son ; who 
was attended by the Lord Virgil Ursini J, the Count de Pit- 
telhane §, and the Lord John James di Trivulce||, who at 
this time is in our interest. To face this body of forces, 
there was the Lord d'Aubigny^f on the king's side, a wise 
man and a brave officer, and with him at least two hundred 
French men-at-arms, and five hundred Italians in the king's 

* Casale, a city of Piedmont, on the right bank of the Po, thirty- 
eight miles cast of Turin. 

f Mary, daughter of Stephen, despot of Servia, married Boniface IV., 
Marquis of Montferrat, on the 17th of October, 1485; became a widow 
in 1493; and died in 1495. — See infra, Book VIII. Chap. xvi. 

t Virgilio Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo, Lord of Bracciano, and con- 
stable of the kingdom of Naples. 

§ Niccolo Orsini, Count of Nola and Pitijrliano. 

|| Gian Giacopo Trivulzio, surnamed the Great, Marqnis of Vigevano 
and Duke of Musocci. He was afterwards created a marshal of 
France. 

% Bcraut Stuart, Lord of Aubigny, and a Knight of the Order of St. 
Michael, was one of the numerous gentlemen of Scottish descent then 
in the service of the King ot France. Charles VIIL subsequently 
created him Count of Arei, Marquis of Squilazzo, and constable of the 
kiugdoui of Naples. He died in 1504. 



126 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1194. 

service, commanded by the Count di Cajazzo above-men- 
tioned, as an officer under the Lord Ludovic : he was in 
great alarm for this brigade, for if it had been defeated, we 
should have retired, and have left him to shift for himself; 
and the enemy had a strong party in the duchy of Milan. 

The other army, which was commanded by Don Fre- 
derick, King Alphonso's brother, was at sea, and the fleet 
that had this body of forces on board lay off Pisa and Leg- 
horn (for the Florentines espoused their interest), and with 
it a certain number of galleys, commanded by Breto di 
Flisco *, and other officers of Genoa, by whose assistance 
they were in hopes of making themselves masters of that 
city ; and they missed it but narrowly. They landed some 
thousand men at Specie and Rapalo t, and had they not met 
with a timely opposition, it is probable they would have car- 
ried their point ; but that very day, or the next, the Duke of 
Orleans arrived there with some ships, a good number of 
galleys, and one great galeass, which was mine, and com- 
manded by Albert Mely. The duke and chief persons of 
the army were on board my galeass, with several great pieces 
of cannon (for she was very strong) ; and getting as near 
the shore as possible, they cannonaded the enemy so briskly 
with their great guns (which till that time were unknown 
in Italy), that they beat them from their post, and landed 
what soldiers they had in their ships. And from Genoa, 
where the whole army lay, there came by land a considerable 
body of Swiss, commanded by the bailiff of Dijon. J There 
were other reinforcements also sent from the Duke of Milan, 
under the command of Lord John Lewis di Flisco §, brother 
to the above-mentioned Breto, and the Lord John Adorni || ; 
but these were not in the engagement, yet they did their 
duty, and held several passes with great courage and reso- 
lution. In short, when joined by these reinforcements, our 

* Obietto de Fieschi, who died at Verceil on the 25th of August, 
1497. — Federici, 78. 

f La Spezzia, a maritime town in the Sardinian dominions, at the 
head of the Bay of Spezzia, in the Gulf of Genoa. Rapallo, another 
Sardinian seaport, fifteen miles east of Genoa. 

J An:oine de Bessey, Baron of Trichastel, and Bailiff of Dijon. 

§ Giovanni Ludovico de Fieschi, brother of Obietto 

(| Giovanni Adorni. brother of Agostino, at that time Governor of 
fceuoa. — GmcaARM.Ni, u 164. 



1494.] AMBASSADORS OF THE FLORENTINES. 127 

army attacked and utterly defeated the enemy, of whom 
about a hundred or six-score were killed in the pursuit, 
and about eight or ten taken prisoners ; among whom there 
was one Signor Forgosa*, son to the Cardinal of Genoa. f 
Those who were taken were stripped to their shirts by the 
Duke of Milan's soldiers, and dismissed without other in- 
jury ! for in Italy that is the law of arms. I had a sight of 
all the letters which brought an account of this victory to the 
king and the Duke of Milan ; and after this manner was the 
army defeated, and never after durst approach us. Upon 
our return to Genoa the citizens began to rise in arms, and 
slew /several Germans, that were in the city; but the tu- 
mult was soon appeased, after some of the ring-leaders of the 
insurrection were killed. 

Something must now be said of the Florentines, who sent 
two embassies to the king of France before his setting out 
upon this expedition ; but their design was only to dissemble 
with him. The first time the seneschal of Beaucaire, Mon- 
sieur Brissonet, and myself were deputed to treat with their 
ambassadors, who were the Bishop of ArezzoJ, and one 
Peter Soderini. § Our demands were only that they should 
grant us passage for our troops, and a hundred men-at-arms, 
to be paid by them after the Italian rate (which is but ten 
thousand ducats a year). The ambassadors replied ac- 
cording to the instructions that were given them by Peter 
de Medicis, a young man of no extraordinary parts, son of 
Laurence de Medicis, lately deceased, who had been one of 
the wisest men of his time, governed the city almost as a 
prince, and left it in the same condition to his son. Their 
family had been of about two generations, Peter, the father 
of this Laurence, and Cosmo who founded it, and was worthy 
to be reckoned among the chief of that age : indeed, consi- 

• Giovanni Fregosi, natural son of Cardinal Paolo Fregosi. 

f l'aolo Fregosi, Archbishop of Genoa, tilled the office of doge of 
that city several times between the years 1462 and 1488; he was created 
a cardinal by Pope Sixtus IV. in 1480, and died on the 2nd of March, 
1498. 

X Gentile Becchi, the tutor of the sons of Cosmo de Medici, waa 
appointed Bishop of Arezzo on the 21st of October, 1473 and died in 
1497. 

§ Piero Soderini was appointed Gonfalonier of Florence in 1502, ami 
died on the 13th of June, 1522. 



128 TIIE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1494 

dering their profession (which was merchandising), I think 
this family was the greatest in the world ; for their factors 
and agents had so mucli reputation upon their account, that 
it is scarce credible. I have seen the etfect of it in England 
and Flanders: I saw one Gerard Quanvese, who kept King 
Edward IV. upon his throne, almost upon his own credit, 
during the time of the civil wars in that kingdom ; for he 
furnished the king at different times with more than six- 
score thousand crowns, but not at all to his master's ad- 
vantage, though at length he got his money back again. I 
knew also another, named Thomas Portunay*, who was 
security between King Edward and Charles Duke of Bur- 
gundy, for fifty thousand crowns, and at another time for 
eighty thousand. I cannot commend merchants for doing 
so ; but it is highly commendable in a prince to be punc- 
tual with them, and keep his promise exactly ; for he knows 
not how soon he may want their assistance, and certainly 
a little money at a critical juncture of affairs does great 
service. 

This family of Medicis was thought to be in a declining 
condition (as is the case with all kingdoms and govern- 
ments), for the authority of his predecessors was a great 
prejudice to Peter; though indeed Cosmo, the first of the 
family, was mild and gentle in his administration, and be- 
haved himself as he ought to do in a free city. Laurence, 
the father of Peter (of whom we are now speaking), upon 
occasion of the difference betwixt him and the Pisansf, men- 
tioned in a former part of this book (in which several of 
them were hanged), had a guard of twenty soldiers assigned 
him, for the security of his person, by an order from the 
Signory, which at that time did nothing without his di- 
rection and approbation. However, he governed very mo- 
derately ; for (as I said before) he was a wise man ; but 
his son Peter thought it his due, and employed his guards 
to the terror and vexation of his people, committing great 
injuries and insolencies by them in the night, and invading 

* Thomas Portinari was agent to Lorenzo de Medici at Bruges, where 
he kept a bank. — Sismondi, xi. 80. He is often mentioned in Bymer 
as having money transactions with Edward IV. 

f See Book VI. Chap. iv. The allusion here is manifestly to tbo 
Conspiracy of the Pazzi. 



1494.] AFFAIRS OF FLORENCE. 129 

the common treasure, which his father indeed had done 
before him ; but he managed it so prudently, that the people 
were almost satisfied with his proceedings. 

The second time Peter sent, as his ambassadors to Lyon, 
Peter Caponi* and others, excusing himself, as he had 
done before, on the ground that King Louis XL had com- 
manded the Florentines to make a league with King Ferrand, 
in the time of John Duke of Anjou, and to forsake the 
alliance of the said duke ; and alleging that, since it was by 
command of the late Kin": of France that they had entered 
into alliance with the House of Arragon, and the term of 
the said alliance was not to expire for some years f, they 
could not in justice desert it: however, if his majesty en- 
tered their territories, they would be of service to him ; but 
they no more thought he would come in person than the 
Venetians did. In both these embassies there was always 
somebody who was an enemy to the Media's, and at this 
time more particularly Peter Caponi, who often informed us 
secretly what measures were to be taken in order to make 
the city of Florence revolt from Peter de Medicis, traducing 
him more sharply than he really deserved: indeed, he ad- 
vised the king to banish all Florentines out of our kingdom, 
which he did. I mentioned this particular, that you may 
more easily understand the sequel of these Memoirs ; for 
the king had conceived a great enmity against Peter de 
Medicis ; and the Seneschal and Monsieur Brissonet held 
great intelligence with his enemies in the city, especially 
with this Caponi, and with two of Peter's cousins-german, 
who bore his own name. 



Cn. VIT. — How the King, being at Asti, resolved to go in Person into 
the Kingdom of Naples, by the Persuasion and Advice of Ludovie 
Sforza: how Philip de Commines was sent on an Embassy to Venice: 
and of the Duke of Milan's Death. — 1494. 

I have already given an account of the naval engagement 
off Rapalo. Don Frederic (upon this defeat) retired to Pisa 

* Pietro de Gino Capponi, created Gonfalonier of Florence in 1493.— 
Gami'kimni, ii. 471. 

■f The treaty was made in March, 1480. — Sissiondi, xi. 185 
VOL. U. K 



130 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [H94. 

and Legliorn, without staying for the forces which he had 
put on shore ; at which the Florentines were highly dis- 
gusted, as they were always in their own minds more inclin- 
able to favour the French than the house of Arragon : and 
our army in Romagna, though the weaker of the two, yet had 
better fortune than the other, and forced the Duke of Cala- 
bria to give ground by degrees; which the king observing, 
he took a resolution to march forward, being solicited to do 
so by the Lord Ludovic and others whom I have mentioned 
before; and at his arrival, Ludovic saluted him after this 
manner : — 

" Sir, do not fear for the success of this enterprise ; Italy 
consists but of three powers that are at all considerable : 
Milan, which is one of them, is yours already; the Venetians 
are neutral ; and you will therefore have to deal only with 
Naples. When we were united, and joined together in a 
mutual alliance, several of your predecessors have been too 
powerful for us. If you will be ruled by me, I will assist in 
making you greater than Charlemagne ; for, when you have 
conquered the kingdom of Naples, we will easily drive the 
Turk out of the empire of Constantinople." If he meant 
the Turk who now reigns*, it was likely enough ; but to in- 
sure success, affairs on our side needed to have been managed 
more wisely. Upon this the king began to be wholly 
governed by the Lord Ludovic, which highly displeased some 
of our courtiers, among whom there was one of the gentle- 
men of the bed-chamber, and I know not who besides ; but 
their resentment was to no purpose, for the king could not 
do without him, and what they did was but in complaisance 
to the Duke of Orleans, who pretended to the duchy of 
Milan. f But, above all, none was so much disgusted as 
Monsieur Brissonet, who now began to look upon himself as 
i considerable person, and was become the seneschal's rival 
in power ; and Ludovic having proposed to the king and the 
seneschal to leave him behind, he was highly incensed against 
him, and endeavoured to persuade all people that he meant 
to leave them in the lurch. It had been more wise in him 

* The Emperor Bajazet. 

f As the descendant of Louis, Duke of Orleans, who had marries 
Valentina, daughter of Gian Galeazzo, Duke of Milan, duiing the reign 
oi (Jharle* VL 



J i94.] CHARLES VIII. AT PAVI/. 131 

to have been silent ; but he was never employed in, nor 
indeed was he fit for, any affairs of state ; for he had not the 
command of his tongue, though otherwise he was very 
well affected to his master. The conclusion of all was, that 
several ambassadors should be sent ; and I, among the rest, 
was sent to Venice. 

I put off my journey for some days, because the king was 
fallen sick of the small-pox, and being taken with a high 
fever besides, was thought to be in danger ; but it lasted 
not above five or six days, so that I went upon my journey, 
and others went to other places. I left the king at Asti, not 
suspecting in the least that he would have proceeded any 
farther. In six days' time I arrived, with my mules and 
train, at Venice ; for the road was the best in the world. I 
was very unwilling to depart, fearing the king would go 
back ; but God had otherwise appointed. The king marched 
directly for Pavia*, by the way of Casale, where he visited 
the Marchioness of Montferrat, a lady much in our interest, 
but a great enemy to Lord Ludovic, and he hated her 
also. The king was no sooner at Pavia, than suspicions 
began to arise ; they would have had the king to lodge in the 
town, and not in the castle; but nothing would serve his turn 
but the castle, and lie there he did, and his guards were 
doubled that night, as some have told me since, who were 
then witli him. The Lord Ludovic was much surprised at 
it, and questioned the king about it, asking whether he was 
suspicious of him. In short, things were so carried on both 
sides, that amity was not like to last long : but our people 
were the most indiscreet in their language ; not the king, 
but some of his nearest relations. In this Castle of Pavia 
there was at that time John Galeas, Duke of Milan (whom I 
have mentioned before), and his wife, the daughter of Kin«- 
Alphonso. The duchess looked very melancholy ; for her 
husband was dangerously sick, and kept in that castle under 
guard with herself, her son, and one or two of her daughters. 
Her son is still living, and was then about five years of age. 
Nobody might see the duke, but any one might see the child. 
I passed that way three days before the king, but was unable 
to see the duke, and was told he was very ill indeed. How« 

• Charles VIII. entered Pavia on the 14th of October, 1494. 

K 2 



iZ'2 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP Dff COMMINKS. [1494. 

<5ver, the king visited him when lie came, for he was his 
cousin-german. His majesty told me afterwards, the subject 
of their discourse was only in general terms, for he was un- 
willing to offend Count Ludovic in anything ; yet he had a 
great mind (as he said) to have given him notice of the designs 
against him. At the same time the duchess threw herself 
it Ludovic's feet, and begged of him to have compassion on 
her father and brother ; he replied it was not in his power; 
but she had more reason to have petitioned for her husband 
and herself, for she was still young and very beautiful. 

From thence the king marched to Placentia*, where 
Ludovic was informed that his nephew, the Duke of Milan, 
lay a dying ; so he took his leave of the king, and, being 
pressed to return, he promised faithfully to do so. Before 
he reached Pavia the duke was deadf , upon which he went 
post immediately to Milan. This I saw in a letter which 
the Venetian ambassador that was with him wrote to Venice, 
assuring the Signory of his design to make himself duke. And 
it is certain both the Dos;e of Venice and the Signory were 
much against it, and asked me if the king my master would 
not espouse the young duke's interest. Though the thing was 
but reasonable, yet knowing how necessary Ludovic's interest 
and assistance were to the king's designs, my answer was in 
doubtful terms. 



Ch. VIII. — How- and by what Means the Lord Ludovic seized and 
usurped the Lordship and Duchy of Milan, and was received by the 
Milanese as their Sovereign. — 1494. 

In short, he made himself Duke of Milan, and, as many 
affirmed, that was his design in inviting and drawing us into 
Italy. He was charged also with the death of his nephew, 
whose friends and relations put themselves in a condition to 
wrest the government out of his hands ; and they might 
easily have done it, had it not been for his alliance with our 
king ; for they had already assembled their forces in Romagna, 

* The king arrived in Piacenza on the 18th of October. 
f The Dike of Milan died on the 22nd of October. 



1194.] THE LORD LUDOVIC SEIZES: .MILAN. 133 

as you have heard ; but the Count di Cajazzo, and Monsieur 
d'Aubigny made them retire. For when Monsieur d'Aubigny 
with about a hundred and fifty or two hundred French men 
at-arms and a good body of Swiss, advanced upon them, Dor- 
Ferrand retreated towards his friends, keeping about half 
a day's march before us towards Forli*, which belonged to a 
ladyf that was a bastard of the house of Milan, and widow 
of Count Hieronimo, who was, or said he was, a nephew to 
Pope Sixtus. It was reported that she favoured their party, 
but our men battered a small town J of hers for half a day, an 1 
took it by storm ; upon which and the inclination she had 
to us before, she came over to our side. The people of Italy 
began generally to assume new courage, and be desirous of 
change ; for they saw a thing that they had never seen 
before, and that was the use of great guns, which had never 
been so well understood in France till then. Don Ferrand 
retreated towards his own kingdom, and marched for Cesenna§, 
a strong city of the pope's, in the marquisate of Ancona ; 
but the people stripped and plundered all the stragglers they 
could meet with, for they were disposed all over Italy to 
revolt, had things been managed wisely on our part, without 
violence and plunder. But all was done quite contrary, at 
which 1 was extremely concerned, for, by this way of pro- 
ceeding, we lost all the honour and renown that the French 
nation might otherwise have gained in that expedition. At 
our first entrance into Italy we were regarded like saints, and 
everybody thought us people of the greatest goodness and 
sincerity in the world ; but that opinion lasted not long, for 
our own disorders, and the false reports of our enemies, 
quickly convinced them of the contrary; for they accused us 
of all imaginable rapacity, plundering and robbing their 
houses, and ravishing their wives and daughters, whenever 
they fell into our hands. Nor could they have invented any. 

* Forli, the chief town of the Legazione di Forli, a province of the 
Papal States. 

f Catherine Sforza, equally celebrated for her courage and her beauty. 
Bee Notes, Book VI. Chap. iv. 

J Mordano, in the county of Imola, all the inhabitants of which vrere 
put to the sword. — Sismondi, xii. 163. 

§ Cescna, a pretty town in the province of Forli, near the foot of th» 
Apennines. 

K 3 



134 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1 194. 

thing to render us more odious, for the people of Italy are 
the most jealous and avaricious of any in Europe. As to our 
ravishing of the women they wronged us ; but for the rest, 
there was too much truth in what they said. 



Ch. IX. — How Peter de Medicis put Four of his strongest Garrisons 
into the King's Possession; and how the King restored Pisa, which 
was one of them, to its ancient Liberty.— 1494. 

The king, as you have heard, was at Placentia, where he 
ordered a solemn funeral service to be performed for his 
cousin-german the Duke of Milan ; and indeed he knew not 
how else to spend his time, since Ludovic, the new Duke of 
Milan, had left him. Those who had an opportunity of being 
well acquainted with these affairs have told me, that the 
whole army, understanding how ill they were provided with 
everything necessary for such an expedition, had a great 
incl nation to return home ; and that those who were the 
chief promoters of it at first, began now to condemn it ; as, 
for instance, the Lord d'Urfe, master of the horse, (though 
he was at that time sick at Genoa), for he wrote a letter 
upon some intelligence that he pretended to receive, which 
increased and heightened their former fears and apprehen- 
sions. But God, as I said before, conducted this enterprise, 
for the king suddenly received news that the new Duke of 
Milan was upon his return, and that the Florentines were 
disposed to an alliance with us, in opposition to Peter de 
Medicis, who played the tyrant amongst them, to the great 
dissatisfaction of his nearest relations, and other considerable 
families in that city, as the Capponi, Soderini, and Nerli, 
and almost the whole town ; upon which the king left Pla- 
centia, and marched towards the territories of the Floren- 
tines, to force them to declare for him, »a- k» seis*- upon their 
towns, which were but in au ill posture 01 aetence, and take 
up his winter-quarters in them, as the cold weather had 
already begun. Several small places received him very 
readily, and so did the city of Lucca, which at that time was 
at war with Florence. The Duke of Milan had always ad- 



1434.] AFFAIRS OF FIORENOE. 135 

vised the king to take up his quarters in those parts, and 
advance no farther that winter, in hopes, by the king's 
interest and favour, to get into ins own possession Pisa, a 
strong and fair city, Sarzana, and Pietrasanta, for the two 
last had belonged lately to Genoa, and had been taken 
from them by the Florentines, in the time of Laurence de 
Medicis. 

The king marched by Pontremoli, which belongs to tiie 
duchy of Milan, and besieged Sarzana, the strongest castle thfi 
Florentines had, but ill provided, by reason of their divi- 
sions ; and, to say truly, the Florentines never fight willingly 
against the French, for they have been always faithful and 
serviceable to them, in respect of their trade and interest in 
France, and also upon account of their being Guelphs.* 
Had Sarzana been furnished as it ought to have been, the 
king's army had certainly been ruined in besieging it, fur 
the country is mountainous and barren, full of snow, and 
not able to supply us with provisions. The king lay before 
it but three days, and the Duke of Milan came to him before 
any composition was made. Having passed through Pontre- 
moli, the citizens and garrison fell out with our Germans, who 
were commanded by one Buser, and in the dispute some of our 
Germans were slain. I was not present at this action my- 
self, but I was informed of it both by the king, the duke, and 
several others that were there ; and this accident produced 
great inconveniences, as you will find hereafter. Our affairs 
went smoothly on at Florence, and were brought to that 
height, that fifteen or sixteen persons were deputed to attend 
the king, as the citizens publicly declared they would not 
expose themselves to the displeasure of the king and the 
Duke of Milan, who had a resident ambassador in Florence ; 
and Peter de Medicis was forced to concur in this embassy, 
for, as matters then stood, he knew not how to avoid it, and 
to have done otherwise would have ruined them, considering 
how ill they were both provided and disciplined. Upon the 
arrival of their ambassadors, they offered to receive the king 
into Florence, and what other places his majesty pleased ; 
but the designs of most of them were fixed upon his journey 

* The Guelphs and the Ghibcllincs were tvo factions that began ia 
Italy in the reign of the Emperor Frederic II. The former espoused 
the pojfcj'g interest, and the latter that of the emperor. 

* 4 



136 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMM1NES. J 1 494, 

to Florence, which they thought would conduce to the ex- 
pulsion of Peter de Medicis, and they pressed it very ear- 
nestly by means of those who then conducted the king's 
affairs, whom I have often mentioned before. 

On the other hand, Peter de Medicis managed his affairs 
as diligently, by means of one Laurence Spinoli, his factor, 
who governed his bank at Lyons, and was a man of inte- 
grity, and had lived a considerable time in France ; but he 
could get no intelligence of the secret affairs of our court, 
nor indeed could those who lived constantly in it rely po- 
sitively upon anything, their counsels were so various. 
However, Spinoli practised with those who had authority 
there, such as the Lord de Bresse (who has since become 
Duke of Savoy,) and the Lord de Myolans, who was cham- 
berlain to the king. As soon as the Florentine ambassadors 
were returned, Peter de Medicis, and some of his friends, 
waited on the king, Avith their answers to what had been 
demanded. They perceived that their inevitable ruin in the 
city would be the consequence of disputing anything the 
king thought fit to require ; wherefore they resolved to gain 
his favour, by doing something extraordinary, beyond what 
the rest had done. 

Upon the news of his approach, the Lord de Piennes, a 
native of Flanders, and chamberlain to the king, and Mon- 
sieur Brissonet (whom I have so often mentioned before), 
were sent to meet him. They proposed the surrender of 
Sarzana to Peter de Medicis, which was immediately done. 
They demanded farther, that he would give the king pos- 
session of Pisa, Leghorn, Pietrasanta, and Librefatta, and 
he granted it, without communicating with his colleagues, 
who were told, that the king was to he received into Pisa, 
and stay there some time to refresh his troops ; but th«-v 
never thought those places were to be left in his hands. 
However, their whole power and strength were put into our 
hands. Those who managed this treaty with Peter de Medicis 
have often told me and other people, with smiles and laughter, 
of his condescensions ; for they were astonished at them, 
and he made several concessions, which they had scarce the 
confidence to demand. In short, the kino- entered Pisa * : 
and the ambassadors returned to Florence, where Peter de 

* On the 9th of November, 1494. 



1494. J LIBERATION OF VISA. 137 

Medicis ordered lodgings to be prepared for the king in his 
own house, which is the fairest and best furnished house fur 
a merchant and man of his quality that I have ever seen. 

We must now say something of the Duke of Milan, who 
was already grown weary of the king, and heartily wished 
him out of Italy, so that he might keep in possession of such 
places as had been delivered up by the Florentines. He 
pressed the king very hard to have Sarzana and Pietra- 
santa, which, he said, belonged to the Genoese, and, at the 
same time, he lent the king thirty thousand ducats, upon 
which (as he told me, and several others afterwards) he 
was promised that he should have them ; but, finding he 
could not get them, he was highly disgusted, and pretending 
his affairs required him at home, he left the king, who never 
saw him afterwards. But he ordered the Lord Galeas di 
St. Severino to stay with the king, giving him instructions 
that he should be present in all councils with the Count 
Charles de Bellejoyeuse, whom I have mentioned before. 
During the king's stay at Pisa, the said Lord Galeas, at his 
master's instigation, invited several of the chief citizens of 
the town to his lodging, and advised them to rebel against 
the Florentines, and petition the king to restore them to their 
liberty; hoping, by this means, that the city would fall again 
into the Duke of Milan's hands, as had formerly* been the 
case in the time of Duke John Galeas, the first Duke of 
Milan of that name; which John was a great and wicked 
tyrant, but lived very honourably. His body lies in the 
Chartreux at Pavia, not far from the park, and is laid much 
higher than the altar ; the monks showed it me, or, at least, 
his bones (and I mounted a ladder to see them), which were 
no sweeter than nature permitted. One of the monks, who 
was born at Bourges, in discourse, called him a saint ; I 
whispered him in the ear, and asked hiin why he gave him 
the title of Saint; for one might see, painted about him, the 
arms of several cities which lie had wrongfully usurped ; be- 
sides which, his horse and himself, carved in fine marble, 
were placed above the altar, and his body lay under the feet 
of his horse. He answered me softly, " In this country wo 
call all saints who do us any good ; and he built us this 

* In 1399. 



138 THE MEMOIUS OF PHILIP DE COMBINES. [1494. 

church; " which is of fair marble, and, indeed, the handsomest 
1 ever saw in my life of that kind. 

But to proceed : this Galeas di St. Severino had an ambi- 
tion to be a great man, and Ludovic, Duke of Milan (whose 
bastard daughter he had married), seemed ambitious of 
making him so, and took as much interest in him as if he 
had been his son, for his own children were not of age as 
yet. The Pisans had been cruelly treated by the Floren- 
tines, who used them as their slaves ; for they had been 
conquered by them about one hundred years*, much about 
the same time as the Venetians subdued Paduaf, which was 
their first acquisition upon the main land. These two cities 
were much alike ; they had been long enemies to those who 
had the government of them ; they were almost equal in 
power, and it was a great while before they could be con- 
quered. The Pisans now called a council, and, finding them- 
selves encouraged by so great a person, and being naturally 
desirous of liberty, as the king was going to mass, a great 
number of men and women cried out to him, " Liberty, 
Liberty," begging of him, with tears in their eyes, that he 
would vouchsafe to restore it to them. There was at that 
time one Rabot J, a counsellor of the parliament of Dauphiny, 
and then either actually Master of the Requests, or executing 
that office for somebody else, who (having promised to do 
so, or not well understanding the nature of their demands) 
acquainted the king (as he was walking before him) with 
the deplorable condition of the Pisans, and told his majesty 
he ought in pity to redress their wrongs, for never people 
had been so tyrannically dealt with. The king not under- 
standing what they meant by that word liberty, and begin- 
ning to commiserate the afflictions of Italy, and the miseries 
the poor subjects endured, both under princes and com- 
monwealths, replied, he was willing it should be so ; though 
(to speak truth) he had no authority to grant it, for the town 
was not his own, and he was received into it only in friend- 
ship, and to relieve him in his great necessities. Monsieur 

* The Florentines became masters of Pisa on the 9th of October, 
1406 

f The Venetians conquered Padua on the 17th ot November, 1405. 

X Jean Rabot, knight, Lord of Uppi, and a man of great influence 
with Charles VIIL 



1494.] THE KING DEPARTS J OK FLORENCE. 139 

Rabot told them the king's answer, and the people began 
immediately to fill the streets with acclamations of joy; aud 
running to the end of the bridge upon the River Arno, they 
pulled down a great lion, called Marzocchi, which stood upon 
a marble pillar, and represented the government of Florence, 
and threw it into the river. When they had so done, they 
caused a statue of the King of France to be set on the pillar, 
with his sword in his hand, and the Marzocchi, or lion, under 
his horse's feet. After that, when the King of the Romans 
came to that town*, they served the King of France's statue 
as they had served the lion ; for it is the nature of the 
Italians to side always with the strongest ; but these Pisans 
were, and are still, so barbarously treated, that they ought to 
be excused for what they did. 



Ch. X. — How the King departed from Pisa to go to Florence; and of 
the Flight and Destruction of Peter de Medicis. — 1494. 

The king stayed not long there f, but departed for Flo- 
rence ; where they complained to him of the injury he had 
done to the Florentines, and that it was contrary to his 
promise, to restore the Pisans to their liberty. Those whom 
he appointed to answer their complaint, excused his con- 
duct in the best manner they could; alleging, that his 
majesty had not been rightly informed, and they entered 
into another agreement, of which I shall say something lvre- 
af'ter. But, in the first place, I must speak of the fate of 
Peter de Medicis, and of the king's entrance into Florence, 
and of the garrisons that his majesty left in Pisa and other 
places, which the Florentines had lent him. 

After Peter de Medicis, by the consent of some few of 
his colleagues, had delivered up the above-mentioned towns 
to the king, he returned to Florence, where the people sup- 
posed the king would not keep them, but that after he had 
refreshed himself for three or four days, and had left Pisa, 

» In 1496. 

t The king remained six days in Pisa, and entered Fbrence on *.h< 
17 th of November, 1494. 



140 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILiP DE COMMIXES. [1494 

they would be delivered up again. I am of opinion that, 
had the king proposed to them to remain there the whole 
winter, they would easily have consented to it ; though Pisa, 
except in the numbers of the people, and the richness of 
their furniture, is of greater value and importance to them 
than Florence itself. However, Peter de Medicis, upon his 
return to Florence, was but coldly received by the people, 
who looked discontentedly upon him, and not without reason ; 
for he had disarmed them of all their power and authority, 
and rubbed them of all the conquests they had gained for a 
hundred years before ; so that their hearts seemed to presage 
the calamities which have happened to them since. For 
this cause (which I believe was the principal, though they 
never declared it), for the hatred they bore him (as I have 
said before), and for the recovery of their liberties, of which 
they believed themselves deprived (without any respect to 
the services done them by Cosmo and Laurence his prede- 
cessors), they resolved to drive him out of the town. Peter 
de Medicis having some suspicion, but no certain knowledge, 
of their designs, went to the palace to announce the king's 
approach, who was within three miles of the city ; but 
coming, according to his usual custom, with his guards, and 
knocking boldly at the palace gate, he was denied entrance 
by one of the Nerli * (of whom there were several brothers, 
with whom I was well acquainted, and also with their 
father, all very wealthy people), who told him he might 
enter alone if he pleased, but otherwise not ; and he that 
gave him this answer was armed. Upon which Peter de 
Medicis returned at once to his house, put himself and his 
retainers in arms, and sent word to one Paul Ursini f, who 
was in the Florentine service ; for by his mother's side 
Peter de Medicis was akin to the Ursini, and both his father 
and himself had always had several of that family in their 
service; and he resolved to stand upon his guard, and op- 
pose any insurrection that might happen in the city. But, 
not long after, hearing a great cry of " Liberty, Liberty," 

* Giacopo de Nerli, gonfalonier of one of the city companies.— 
Sismondi, xii. 147. 

t Paolo Ursini, Marquis of Tripalda, and Lord of Lomentana; ha 
was strangled. l>y order of Caesar Borgia, on the 18th of January, 1503. 
Ilia titter, Clarissa Orsini, was the mother of Pietro de' Medici. 



1491.] FLIGHT OF PETER DE MEDICIS. 14,1 

and seeing the people assembled in arms, he left the city 
according to the prudent advice that was given him by 
Ursini ; but it was a sad parting for him, for in power and 
riches he and his predecessors, since the time of Cosmo, had 
been equal to the greatest princes, and on that day fortune 
began to be adverse, and he lost both authority and estate. 
I was at Venice myself, but the news was communicated to 
me by the Florentine ambassador, who was there, and I was 
extremely concerned at it ; for I had a great affection for 
his father. Had this Peter believed me formerly, he had 
not then been in that condition ; for upon my first arrival at 
Venice I wrote to him, and offered to make his peace with 
the king, and it was in my power to have done it ; for I had 
verbal commission, from both the Seneschal of Beaucaire and 
Brissonet, to do it, and the king would have been contented 
with passage for his troops, or, at the worst, to have had 
Leghorn put into his hands, in return for which, he would 
have done whatever Peter could have desired ; but, by the 
persuasion and ill counsel of Peter Capponi, whom I have 
mentioned before, he did but laugh at me for the offer I 
made him. 

The next morning the Florentine ambassador delivered 
a letter to the Signory of Venice, importing that Peter de 
Medicis was banished from Florence for endeavouring to 
make himself sovereign of that city, by the assistance of the 
Ursini, and of the house of Arragon ; with other complaints 
besides against him, which were not true. But such are 
the accidents of this world ; he who is beaten and flies, is 
not only sure to be pursued by his enemies, but is forsaken, 
and perhaps persecuted by his friends ; as was too visible in 
the behaviour of this ambassador, Paul Anthony Soderini * 
(one of the wisest statesmen in all Italy). The day before 
the delivery of this letter he mentioned Peter de Medicis 
to me with the respect due to his sovereign lord, but now he 
declared himself his enemy by order from the State; but, to 
do him justice, he said nothing of his own feelings. The next 
day I was informed that Peter de Medicis was coming to 

* Paolo Antonio Soderini, born in 1448, was appointed one of the 
Council of Ten in 1494, and Gonfalonier of Justice in 1497. He waa 
afterwards sent as ambassador to Venice, with Giambattista Ridolfi aa 
Ills colleague. 



142 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1494 

Venice, that the king had made his triumphal entry into 
Florence, and that the senate had recalled their ambassador, 
telling him, that " he must sail with that wind." I saw their 
letter myself, for he showed it me upon his leaving Venice. 
Two days after his departure, Peter de Medicis arrived at 
Venice, in the disguise of a servant in livery. The Vene- 
tians were at a loss how to behave themselves towards him ; 
they were afraid of disobliging the king, and yet they could 
not in reason refuse to give him protection ; however, they 
made him wait outside the town for two days, and desired 
to know of me how my master would take it : 1 had never 
received any orders from the king to resent it, and, being 
willing to serve him, I answered, " That I supposed his flight 
was for fear of the people, not of the king." Upon which 
he was received, and the next day after his appearance 
before the Signory I made him a visit. The Signory 
ordered a handsome apartment for him, permitted him and 
about twenty of his retinue to wear their swords, and showed 
him a great deal of honour and respect ; for, though his 
grandfather Cosmo had formerly hindered them from mak- 
ing themselves masters of Milan *, yet they had a reverence 
for the honour of his family, which had been so renowned 
and triumphant all over Christendom. 

When I came into his presence, methought he seemed not 
to answer my expectation. He gave me a long narrative of 
his misfortunes, and I gave him the best consolation I could, 
Among the rest of his complaints, he told me he had lost 
all ; but that which made the deepest impression on his 
spirits was, that, having written to his factor in that town 
to furnish him with cloth for himself and his brother, though 
only to the value of a hundred ducats, he had been refused. 
Not long after he had good news from the Lord de Bresse, 
who has since become Duke of Savoy; and the king wrote 
to him to come to him. However, the king left Florence 
about the same time, as you will find hereafter ; but I was 
forced to say something of this Peter de Medicis, for he was 

* Cosmo de Medici had greatly encouraged and assisted hie friend 
Francesco Sforza in subjugating Milan and its territory, saying " it was 
far better to have a powerful friend for one's neighbour than a formidable 
foe." — See Machiavelli's History of Florence, ]>. 284. 



1494.] THE KING LNTERS FLORENCE 143 

a great man, considering his estate and authority, which 
his family had enjoyed in its fullest extent for threescore 
years. 



Ch. XI. — How the King made his Entrance into Florence, and what 
other Towns he passed through in his March to Rome. — 1494. 

The next day the king made his entrance into the city 
of Florence, where Peter de Medicis had prepared apart- 
ments for him in his own palace, and appointed the Lord de 
Ballassat to attend him ; but, as soon as that nobleman was 
informed of the flight of Peter de Medicis, he fell to rifling 
the palace, upon pretence that the bank of Lyons was in 
arrear to him for a considerable sum of money ; and among 
other things he seized upon a whole unicorn's horn *, valued 
at six or seven thousand ducats, besides two great pieces of 
another, and several other things ; and other people followed 
his example. The best of his furniture had been conveyed 
into another house in the city ; but the mob plundered it. 
The Signory got part of his richest jewels, twenty thousand 
ducats in ready money, that he had in his bank in the city ; 
several fine agate cups, besides an incredible number of 
cameos admirably well cut, which I had formerly seen, and 
three thousand medals of gold and silver, weighing near 
forty pounds' weight, and I believe there were not so many 
fine medals in all Italy besides : so that his losses in the 
city that day might be computed at a hundred thousand 
crowns, if not more. 

But the king being arrived in the city of Florence, a 
treaty f was made betsveen him and the Florentines, and I 

* The unicorn's horn was highly valued in the middle ages, because 
it was believed to possess the power of detecting poison in meat and 
drink. Cuvier is of opinion that the animal whose horn was supposed 
to be endowed with this precious quality was the Oryx, or Egyptian 
antelope, which is remarkable for its long, straight, and tapering horns. 

t This treaty was published in the Cathedral of Florence during the 
celebration of mass on the 26th of November, 1494. It was at one 
time very near being broken oil'; for Charles at first insisted on condi- 
tions disgraceful to the Florentines, which his secretary read as his u ti- 
matum. Hut the gonfalonier 1'ietro Cappoui suddenly snatched the 
paper from the secretary's hand, anil, tearing it up, exclaimed, " Welit 



I 14 TIIE MEMOIRS OF TIIILIP DE COMMINES. [1494 

am of opinion the citizens embraced it very heartily. Tiiev 
gave the king sixscore thousand ducats, of which they paid 
hira fifty thousand down, and the rest in two short payments 
afterward. They lent him all the above-mentioned for- 
tresses, and changed their arms, which were the red fleur-de- 
lis, and adopted those of the king, who took them under his 
protection, and swore upon the altar of St. John to restore 
the towns which they had put into his possession, within 
foftr months after bis arrival at Naples, or sooner, if he 
should return to France ; but matters happened otherwise, 
as you will find in the sequel of these Memoirs. 

The king made but a short stay at Florence ; but advanced 
with his army to Sienna, where he was well received ; thence 
he advanced to Viterbo*, where the enemy (Don Ferrand), 
having retreated towards Rome, designed to post and fortify 
themselves, and fight, if they saw an advantageous oppor 
tunity, as King Alphonso's and the Pope's ambassadors at 
Venice told me ; and truly I expected the arrival of King 
Alphonso in person there (for he had the reputation of being 
a man of courage), and that he would have left his son in the 
kingdom of Naples to manage affairs in his absence. Accord- 
ing to my judgment the place would have been most advan- 
tageous for him ; for he would have had his own kingdom and 
the States of the Church, and the towns and places belonging 
to the Ursini behind him. And I was extremely surprised 
to receive letters from the king announcing that he was at 
Viterbo, and that one of the commanders had delivered up 
the castle upon the intercession of the Cardinal of St. Peter 
ad Vincula (who was governor of it) and of the Colonne. I 
fancied then that God would put an end to this affair, and 
began to repent of having advised and written to the king to 
come to an accommodation ; for they offered him very fair terms. 
Aquapendente, Montefiascone, and all the adjacent towns, 
were delivered up before the surrender of Viterbo, as I was 
informed by letters from the king and the Signory of Venice, 
who had daily intelligence of what passed from their ambas- 

if it be thus, sound your trumpets, and we will ring our bells!" This 
energetic movement daunted the French king, who at once abated his 
pretensions, and peace was concluded. — Sismondi, xii. 168. 

* Charles VIII. entered Siena on the 2nd of December, and reached 
Viterbo on the 10th of the same mouth. 



1 494.] CARDINAL OF ST. PETER AD VINCULA SENT TO OSTIA. 145 

sadors, which they either showed me, or else ordered their 
secretaries to give me an account. From Viterbo the king 
marched towards Rome, and thence through the dominions of 
the Ursini, which were all surrendered to him by the Lord 
Charles Ursini*, who pretended that he had orders from his 
father to do so (who was still in Alphonso's service), and said 
that, whilst Don Ferrand was entertained in the territories of 
the Church, so long would he wait on the king, and no longer. 
'1 his was exactly according to the custom in Italy, both 
among princes and captains, and all persons ; for there they 
carry fair with their very enemies, for fear it should be their 
misfortune to be of the weakest side. The king was accord- 
ingly received into Bracciano, the chief place belonging to 
Virgil Ursini ; it was a strong and beautiful castle, and well 
furnished with provisions. 1 have heard the king often com- 
mend the place, and the entertainment he met with there ; for 
at that time his army was in great distress for want of pro- 
vision, and indeed they could hardly have been in greater 
want ; so that, if we do but consider how often this army 
was inclined to disband since its first arrival at Vienne in 
Dauphiny, and the many unexpected accidents by which it 
was supplied and advanced, it must of necessity be acknow- 
ledged that God Almighty conducted the enterprise. 



Ch. XII.— How the King gent the Cardinal of St. Peter ad Vincula 
(who was afterwards Pope, by the name of Julius II.) to Ostia; what 
the Pope did at Rome in the Meantime; and how the King entered 
Home, notwithstanding all the Endeavours of his Enemies to the con- 
trary; and of the Factions between the Ursini and the Colonne in 
Rome.— 1494. 

From Bracciano the king sent the Cardinal of St. Peter ad 
Vincula to Ostia, of which he was bishop. Ostia is a town 
of great importance, possessed by the Colonne, who had taken 
it formerly from the Pope ; but not long before, it had been 
recovered from the said cardinal by the forces of the Church.f 

* Charles, Count of Auguillara, a natural son »f Virgilio Orsini. 
t Cardinal Julian della Rovere surrendered Ostia to tile Papal troops 
on the 23rd of April, 1494, and fled into France.— Siswonm, xii. IMi. 
VOL. IL T 



146* THE MEMOIUS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. I_H94. 

It is a town of no great strength, nnd yet it kept Rome 
in subjection a long time afterwards, by means of the said 
cardinal, who was a great friend to the Colonne, which 
family embraced our interest, at the instigation of Cardinal 
Ascanio* (the Duke of Milan's brother, and vice-chancellor 
to the Pope), and in opposition to the Ursini, with whom they 
have been always at difference. The faction of these two 
houses has occasioned as great troubles in the states of the 
Church as the animosity betwixt the Luce and Grandmont 
families have been to us, or the Houcs and Caballans to the 
Dutch-"- ; and 'were it not for this dissension, the territories of 
the Church would be one of the best habitations for subjects 
in the world ; for they pay no taxes, their duties are few, 
and they would be sure to be well governed, for the popes 
are always wise, and have good councillors about them. But 
because of these emulations, they are subject to many calami- 
ties, as murders and plundering, of which we have seen fre- 
quent examples within these last four years; for since that 
time+ the Colonne have been our enemies, much to their loss, 
for the king had given them estates of twenty thousand 
ducats a year and more in the kingdom of Naples, such as 
the county of Tagliacozzo, and other places (which were 
formerly the estates of the Ursini), besides whatever else they 
demanded, whether in men or money ; so that what they 
did was done treacherously and unhandsomely, without any 
manner of provocation ; but they had been always for the 
house of Arragon against the French, as being Ghibellines, 
and the Ursini (being Guelphs) were always on our side 
with the Florentines. 

The king sent with the Cardinal of St. Peter ad Vincula 
to Ostia, Peron de Basche, the steward of his household, who 
three days before had brought the king twenty thousand 

* Ascanio Sforza, born on the 3rd of March, 1445, was appointed 
Bishop of Pavia in 1479, and elected cardinal on the 6th of March, 
1 484. Having taken an active part in the election of Alexander VI. to 
the Popedom, he was appointed vice-chancellor by that pontiff; and he 
died at Rome on the 28th of March, 1505. 

f The families of Luz and Grammont were celebrated in Navarre for 
their long-continued rivalry. The Hones and Caballans were two fac- 
tions which arose in the Netherlands about the middle of the founeenti" 
tentury. 

J The Colonne became enemies to the French in 1495. 



1 494-] THE NUMBER OF TROOPS AT OST1A. 147 

ducats by sea, which was part of the money lent him by the 
Duke of Milan. This Peron de Basche landed at Piombino, 
and left the fleet (which was but small) under the command 
of the Prince of Salerno, and the Baron of Sernon* in Pro- 
vence ; but being overtaken suddenly by a storm, their ship 
was much shattered, and driven upon the coast of Sardinia, 
where they lay a long time without doing us any service till 
they could be repaired, though they cost us a vast expense, 
and came not to us till the king was in Naples. 

There were with the Cardinal at Ostia about five hundred 
men-at-arms, and two thousand Swiss under the command 
of the Count de Lignyf (the king's cousiu-german by his 
mother's side), the Lord of AllegreJ, and others. Their 
design was to have passed the Tiber, and enclosed Don 
Ferrand in Rome, by the favour and assistance of the 
Colonne, of whom the chief were Prospero and Fabritio 
Colonna, and the Cardinal Colonna§, who had two thousand 
foot under their command, to pay whom the king remitted 
money by Peron de Basche, though they had raised and mus- 
tered them at their own pleasure at Sansonna |j, a town 
belonging to them. 

We must here observe that several affairs are coincident in 
this place, and of every one of them something must be said. 
Before the king had made his entrance into Viterbo, he had 
6ent the Lord de la TremouilleL. his chamberlain, the Presi- 

* Louis de Villeneuvc, Lord of Serenon, and Marquis of Trans, in 
Provence. 

f Louis de Luxembourg, Prince of Altramura, Duke of Andria and 
Venusia, Count of Ligny, and Governor of Picardy; afterwards Lord 
High Chamberlain to Louis XII. 

X Yves, Baron of Alegre, and captain of the hundred gentlemen of 
the king's household. 

§ Prospero Colonna, Duke of Traetta, and Count of Fondi ; Fabri- 
rio Colonna, Duke of Pagliano and Tagliacozzo, Constable of Naples, 
and cousin-german to Prospero; Giovanni Colonna. brother of Pros- 
pero, created a cardinal on the 15th of May, 1480. — LsmoifF, 218, 219, 
Tl'2.. 

i| Gcnzano, a town in the Papal States. — Sjsmondi, xii. 182. 

| Louis II., Lord of La Tremouille, Viscount of Thouars, and Prince of 
Talmont, surnamed the Chevalier sans reproche ; created Governor of 
Burgundy and Admiral of Guienne in 1502; and killed in the battle of 
Pavia, on the 24th of February, 1524. The estates of this nobleman 
had been conferred on Comminca bf Louis XL, and a full account of 

l'2 



HS THE MEM0IR3 OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1491. 

dent of Gannay*, who had the seal, and Monsieur Bidaut f, 
to Rome, to treat with the Pope, who was never without some 
underhand practices, according to the mode of the Italians. 
While they were at Rome, the Pope in the night received 
Don Ferrand and his whole army into the town, so that our 
people were seized for a short time, but dismissed the same 
day by the Pope; only the Cardinal Ascanio, vice-chancellor 
and brother to the Duke of Milan, and Prospero Colonna, 
were detained (some say by their own consent). I had news 
of all this immediately, by letters from the king, and the 
Signory of Venice had a more ample account of it i'rom their 
agents ; and it happened before the king got into Viterbo, for 
he never stayed above two days in any place, and all things 
succeeded better for our interest than we could have expected 
or hoped, and no wonder, for God's providence appeared 
so visibly for our assistance, that nobody could deny it. 

The badness of the weather had rendered the army in 
Ostia utterly unserviceable. But you must understand that the 
forces under the command of the Lord d'Aubigny had been 
marched back, and he himself had no further employment 
there. The Italians were likewise dismissed, who had been 
raised in Romagna, and brought to the army by Count 
Rodolph of Mantua|, the Lord Galeot de la Mirandola§, and 
Fracassej|, brother to Galeas di St. Severino; who were well 
paid by the king, and were in all about five hundred men. 
At his departure from Viterbo the king advanced toNaples^ 
of which the Cardinal Ascanio was then governor. And it 

the law-suits which arose from this gift will be found in the " Life of 
Commines," prefixed to the first volume of this edition of his Memoirs. . 

* Jean de Gantry, Lord of Persan. apponted Fourth President of the 
Parliament of Paris in 1490, First President in 1505, and Chancellor of 
France in 1507. He died at Blois in 1512. — Ansei.me, vi. 442. 

f Denis Bidault, notary and secretary of the king, was appointed 
Receiver-General of the Finances in 1481, and President-Clerk of the 
Chamber of Accounts in Paris in 1495 He died on the 18th of June, 
1506. 

J Rodolph, son of Ludovic HI., Duke of Mantua; born in 1451, 
Mid killed in the battle of Fornovo, on the 6th of July, 1495. 

§ Galeotto Pic de la Mirandola, brother-in-law of Rodolph of Mantua. 

|| Gasparo, surnamed Fracasso de Sanseverino, son of Robert Count 
■vf Cajazzo. 

| Nepi, or Nepete, a small town about twen ty-six miles from Rome, i 



1495.] CHARLES VIII. ENTERS ROME. 149 

it is most certain that, whilst our forces were in Ostia, 
twenty fathoms of the wall fell down at Rome, on that side 
where we designed to enter. 

The Pope, observing this young prince advance so briskly, 
and with such unexpected success, consented to receive him 
into Rome (and to speak truth he could not help it), upon 
condition he would give safe conduct under his hand and seal 
to Don Ferrand, Duke of Calabria, and only son to Alphonso ; 
but Ferrand marched away in the night towards Naples, and 
the Cardinal Ascanio conducted him to the very gate. The 
king entered Rome* in arms, as a prince who had authority 
to do what he pleased wherever he came. There came out to 
meet him several cardinals, and the governors and senators 
of the town, who attended him to his lodgings in the palace 
of St. Mark (which belonged to theColonne, who were then 
his servants and friends) ; and the Pope himself retired to 
his castle of St. Angelo. 



Ch. XDT.— How King Alphonso caused his Son Ferrand to be crowned 
King; his Flight into Sicily; and of the evil Life his Father (old Fer- 
rand) and he had led during their Reigns. — 1495. 

Could any man have imagined that so imperious a prince as 
Alphonso, inured all his lifetime to wars, and his son and 
the Ursini, who had so great a party in Rome, should have 
been afraid to make a stand there? Especially when they 
perceived the Duke of Milan and the Venetians wavering, 
and a secret alliance on foot, which would certainly have 
been concluded, had any resistance been made, either at Vi- 
terbo or Rome, that might have stopped the progress of the 
king's arms, though but for three or four days. But God 
was willing to demonstrate to the world that all these things 
were beyond the contrivance and comprehension of human 
wisdom ; and, as we said before, that above twenty fathoms 
of the city wall fell down, so now there fell down above 
fifteen fathoms of the outer wall of the castle of St. Angelo, 
6P I have been told by several persons, and particularly by 

• Cku-let VIII. entered Home on the 31st of December, U94. 

i. 5 



150 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495 

two cardinals who were there. But now we must say some* 
thing of King Alphonso. 

As soon as the Duke of Calabria, called the young Fer- 
rand (whom we have already often mentioned), was re- 
turned to Naples, his father, King Alphonso, abdicated the 
crown, thinking himself unworthy of it on account of the 
mischiefs and cruelties he had committed against several 
srinces and lords who had trusted to his and his father's 
honour, causing them to be put to death (to the number of 
( <>ur-and-twenty), after the decease of his father, who had 
kept them alive for some time after their wars against him. 
Two more he also caused to be executed, who had surren- 
dered upon his father's security ; one was the Prince of 
Rossano, Duke of Sessa*, a person of great authority. This 
Prince of Rossano had married King Ferrand's sister, and 
bad by her a son f of very great parts and understanding. 
To make sure of him, he had been married to a daughter of 
King Ferrand (for the Prince of Rossano had been engaged 
in a most abominable treason against his king, and had de- 
served the worst punishment that could have been inflicted, 
had he not surrendered himself upon assurance of a pardon). 
As soon as he had surrendered, the king ordered him to be 
closely confined in a stinking prison, where he continued for 
the space of four-and-twenty years, and whither his son was 
sent, when he was about fifteen or sixteen years old, to bear 
him company. Alphonso, immediately upon his accession 
to the throne, ordered all the prisoners to be removed to a 
small island not far from Naples, called Ischia (of which 

* Marino de Marzano, Prince of Rossano, and Duke of Sessa, who 
had married Eleanor, a natural daughter of Alphonso I., King of Naples, 
sided with John, Duke of Anjou, in 1459, against his brother-in-law, 
Ferdinand L, whom the Duke of Anjou was striving to deprive of the 
crown of Naples. He was declared a rebel in 1460, but made his peace 
in 1462, on condition that his son should marry Ferdinand's daughter. 
Regardless of his oath, however, Ferdinand imprisoned Marino in the 
castle of Naples in 1464; and after twenty-two years captivity he was 
put to a violent death in 1486. 

f Giambattista de Marzano, son of the preceding, was born in 1459, 
and betrothed to Beatrice, the daughter of Ferdinand I., in 1462; but 
Ferdinand broke off the match, and married his daughter to Matthias 
King of Hungary. In 1464 Marzano was sent to join his father in 
prison, and remained a captive until the arrival of Charles VIII. a! 
Naples in 1495, when he was liberated by Ferdinand II. 



1495.] CHARACTER OF ALPIIONSO AND HIS FATHER. 151 

vou shall hoar further hereafter), and put all of them to 
<leath after a most barbarous and inhuman manner, except 
Kossano's son and the noble Count of Popoli*, whom he 
still kept prisoners in the castle of Naples. 

I inquired very carefully how they were so cruelly mur- 
dered (because many people believed them alive when tin 
king entered Naples), and I was told by their principal ser- 
vants that they were horribly and villanously knocked on 
the head by a Moor of Africa, who, immediately after their 
execution, was dispatched into Barbary, that no notice might 
be taken of it. I was informed he did not even spare those 
ancient princes, some of whom had been kept in prison for 
four or five-and-thirty years. Never was any prince more 
bloody, wicked, inhuman, lascivious, or gluttonous than he. 
Yet his father was more dangerous, because no man knew 
when he was angry or pleased ; for he would betray men in 
the midst of his entertainments and caresses, as he betrayed 
Count James f, whom he caused on a sudden to be appre- 
hended, and put to a horrible death, though he was in the 
quality of an ambassador at his court from Francis, Duke of 
Milan, whose natural daughter he had married ; but to that 
barbarous action Francis was consenting, for they were 
both afraid of his courage and interest with the Bracci J, for 
he was son to Nicolo Picinino. § In the same manner (as 

• Pictro Giovanni Paolo Cantelini, Duke of Sora, and Count of 
Popoli, was one of the barons who revolted from Ferdinand in favour 
if the: Duke of Anjou, and was forced to surrender when the duke aban- 
doned his pretensions to the kingdom of Naples. According to some 
authorities, lie succeeded in making his escape, and baffling the vengeance 
of Ferdinand. 

f Jacopo Piccinino, a celebrated condottiere, served the Duke of 
Anjou against Ferdinand, who afterwards appeared to have forgotten 
the offence, for lie gave him the command of the armies of his kingdom, 
and the principality of Sulmona, and other estates. After his marriage 
to Drusiana,a natural daughter of Francesco Sforza, Ferdinand invited 
Piccinino to return to Naples, which he did, in the capacity of an am- 
bassador from the Duke of Milan. Ferdinand entertained him nobly 
for twenty-seven days, at the end of which he ordered him to be arrested, 
thrown into a dungeon, and put to death. — Sismondi, x. 267. 

I Braceeachi, the partisans of Braccio de Montone, a celebrated con- 
doitiere captain, long the rival in renown of Sforza Attcndolp. 

§ Niccolo Piccinino was the favourite pupil ot Braccio, and succeeded 
to the command of his party at his death. 

I 4 



152 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

report goes) he served several others ; for this Ferrand had 
nothing of tenderness or compassion in him, as I have beer* 
informed by his nearest friends and relations, nor was he 
ever known to take the least pity of his own necessitous sub- 
jects in relation to their taxes. The whole trade of buying 
and selling he engrossed to himself all through his kingdom. 
He delivered hogs to his people to feed, and required them 
to make them fat, that they might fetch a good price ; and if 
any of them chanced to die, the people were forced to pay for 
them. In Apulia and other countries which are plentiful 
in olives, he and his son bought up all the oil, almost at 
their own price ; the same they did with their corn, buying it 
at a cheap rate hefore it was ripe, and then selling it again 
as dear as they could ; but if the price of any of their com- 
modities happened to fall in the meantime, they obliged the 
people to take them off their hands ; and whilst they were 
disposed to sell, nobody durst buy of any one else. 

If a baron, or the lord of any country, was a thrifty man, 
and saved anything out of his revenue by management and 
industry, they sent presently to borrow it, and the owners 
were forced to comply with their unreasonable demands. 
They also took away their breed of horses (of which in 
those parts there are several), and caused them to be managed 
and trained for them and their use ; so that they had in 
horses, mares, and colts many thousands, which they sent up 
and down the kingdom to be kept for them, to the great de- 
triment of the masters. Both father and son had ravished 
several women ; they made no conscience of sacrilege, nor 
did they retain the least respect or obedience for the church. 
They sold their bishopries, as that of Tarento, which 
the father sold for thirteen thousand ducats to a Jew for 
his son, who the Jew pretended was a Christian. He 
gave abbeys to falconers and others for their children, tel- 
ling them, " You shall keep me so many hawks, and mew 
them, and keep me such a number of soldiers at your ex- 
pense." The son never kept Lent in his life, nor so much 
as pretended to do it ; and for many years he never was at 
confession, nor ever received the Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper. In short, it is scarce possible that any prince could 
be guilty of greater villanies than they were. Some will 
have the young Ferrand to be the worst of the two ; though 



1495.] ON THE PROVIDENCE OP GOD 153 

at his death he grew humble and civil, but then indeed he 
was in distress. 



Ch. XIV.— How King Alphonso fled into Castile, and did Penance.— 

1495. 

Periiaps the reader may think that what I have written of 
these two princes proceeds from some particular pique against 
them ; but upon my conscience that is not the motive that 
induces me to do it ; for I have given you this history of their 
lives, only to continue my Memoirs, in the beginning of 
which I freely declared my opinion that I thought it im- 
possible for those who had the management of our affairs to 
have carried on this expedition so prosperously, had not 
God himself undertaken to conduct it for our young king, 
whom he supplied with provisions in the extremity of his 
wants, that he might make him his instrument to scourge 
and chastise these Italian princes, who were wise, rich, pow- 
erful, and experienced in the affairs of the world ; had wise 
and able ministers to defend and take care of their dominions, 
and were supported by powerful alliances; and, though they 
beheld the storm afar off, yet had they not courage or wis- 
dom enough at that time either to resist or avoid it. For, 
except the castle of Naples, there was not one place which 
stopped the progress of the king's arms lor a day, which 
occasioned Pope Alexander VI. to say that the French came 
into Naples with wooden spurs, and chalk in their harbin- 
gers' hands to mark out their lodgings, which they took up 
without any more trouble. The wooden spurs he mentioned 
because it was the custom at that time, when young gentle- 
men rode about the streets, for their pages to put a sharp 
piece of wood into the heels of their shoes, with which they 
pricked their mules forward. In short, this expedition into 
Italy was performed with so much ease, and so little re- 
sistance, that our soldiers scarce ever put on their armour 
during the whole expedition, and the king marched with his 
army from Asti to Naples in four months and nineteen days; 



lot THE MEMOIRS OK PHILIP DF COMMIXES. [1495. 

mi ambassador with his retinue could hardly have got thither 
sooner. 

I conclude, therefore, with several pious and religious 
men, and the general voice of the people (which is the 
voice of God), that God intended to make an example of 
these princes, that by their chastisement others might be 
excited to conform their lives according to his command- 
ments. For these princes of Arragon lost their honour, 
their kingdom, and their treasure, besides their rich fur- 
niture of all sorts, which has been so strangely dispersed, it 
is hardly to be known what is become of it ; and, finally, 
they died themselves, three in one year*, or a little more; 
but I hope their souls are in paradise. For King Ferrand, 
who was natural son to Alphonso the Great t (a wise, good, 
and honourable prince), was highly concerned to see his 
kingdoms invaded with such a powerful army, and to find 
himself not in a condition to oppose it. He was also sen- 
sible of the notoriously bad lives that he and his son had 
led, and that they had become odious to the people. And 
besides, in the pulling down of a chapel (as I have been 
assured by several of his nearest relations), there was a 
book found with this title, Truth, with its secret Counsel-%, 
in which (it is said) was contained a full prophecy of his 
misfortunes ; but there were only three persons who had a 
sight of it, for as soon as he had read it, he committed it to 
the flames. 

Another thing that troubled him was, that neither his 
son Alphonso, nor his grandson Ferdinand, could be per- 
suaded of the king's coming into Italy; but they talked 
arrogantly and contemptuously of him, hectoring and threat- 
ening that they would go as far as the mountains to meet 
him. But some were so wise as to make it their solemn 
petition to God Almighty that a king of France might 
never come into Italy ; for they had only seen a poor in- 
digent prince of the family of Anjou, who had troubled all 

* Ferdinand I. died in 1494; Alphonso II. in 1495; and Ferdinand IL 
in 1496. See previous notes. 

f Alphonso V., surnamed the Wise, King of Arragon, who inherited 
the throne of Naples from Queen Joanna in 1420, and left it to his bas- 
tard son. 

X Lenglet says it was a book written by St. Cotade, Bishop of Ta» 
r&itum. 



1495.] ABDICATION AND FL13HT OF ALPHONSO. loa 

Italy before it could get rid of him, namely, Duke John, 
King Rene's son. Ferrand laboured hard, by means of bis 
ambassador Camillo Pandone*, to stop the king's expedition 
into Italy before he left France, offering him a tribute of 
fifty thousand ducats a year, and to do him homage for his 
kingdom. But finding he could neither purchase his peace 
with the King of France, nor compose the differences of the 
city of Milan, he fell sick, confessed his sins, and diedf, and, 
I hope, repented of his wickedness. His son Alphonso, who 
was so cruel and terrible, and in such reputation for his 
experience in military affairs before the King of France's 
departure from Rome, renounced the crown, and was seized 
with such a panic fear, that in the night he would cry out 
he heard the French, and that the stones and trees shouted, 
" France, France." Nor durst he ever stir boldly out of 
Naples ; but upon his son's return from Rome he resigned 
the government of his kingdom to him, and caused him to 
be crowned, and carried on horseback through the streets of 
Naples, attended by the chief persons of the city, to wit, his 
brother Don Frederic, and the Cardinal of Genoa (between 
whom the new king rode), and all the foreign ambassadors 
that were there; and after all this pomp and solemnity was 
performed, Alphonso himself fled into Sicily, and took with 
him the queen his mother-in-law J (sister to Ferrand, King of 
Castile, who is now reigning, and heir to the kingdom of 
Sicily), to a place § where she had a strong garrison. 

This was looked upon as a very surprising turn of affairs 
all over Europe, but especially at Venice, where I was then 
as the king's ambassador. Some said he had retired to the 
Turkish court, others that his resignation was only in favour 
of his son, who was less odious to the people ; but I was 
always of opinion it proceeded from nothing but real 
cowardice ; for no person that was cruel was ever cou- 

* Camillo Pandone, Viceroy of Apulia during the reign of Ferdi- 
nand EL; killed in an encounter with the French in 1495. 

t On the 25th of January, 1494. 

J Joanna, daughter of John II., King of Arragon, was married to 
Ferdinand I., King of Naples, in 1476, and died on the 9th of January, 
1517. 

Mazzara, a large town on ths sea-coast in the province of Trapani 
— Li vazzo, 80. 



136 TUB MEMOIRS OF PHIUP DE COMMINES. [149.5. 

rageous, as all histories inform us ; for so Nero and several 
other tyrants perished in despair. In short, Alphonso was 
in so great a consternation, that (as I was informed by some 
who were about him) lie told his mother-in-law, on the very 
day of their departure, that if she would not go he would 
leave her behind ; and when she entreated him to put oflf 
his departure for three days longer, that it might be said 
she had been a whole year in his kingdom, he replied that, 
rather than not go then, he would throw himself out of the 
window ; " For do not you hear (saith he), how everybody 
cries out, ' France, France ?' " Upon which they immediately 
went on board their galleys. He took along with him ail 
sorts of wines (which he loved above all things), and seeds 
for his gardens, without taking any care of his property or 
furniture, which was left mostly in the castle of Naples ; 
some jewels and a little money he carried with him besides, 
and away they sailed for Sicily, to the place above men- 
tioned ; and from thence to Messina, where he sent for and 
carried along with him certain monks, to whom he pretended 
and swore he would have no further conversation with the 
world. Among the rest, he took a particular fancy to the 
monks of Mount Olivet, whose habit is white (as they told 
me at Venice, where the body of St. Helena is deposited in 
their monastery), and with them he lived a most strict and 
austere life, serving God at all hours both of the day and 
night, as the monks did in their convents, spending his time 
in prayers, fasting, and alms ; by which austerity and severe 
way of living he contracted a sad distemper of excoriation 
and gravel; and the monks told me they never saw any 
man suffer greater misery, and yet he endured it with 
abundance of patience, having resolved to spend the re- 
mainder of his days in a monastery at Valentia, and to take 
upon him the monkish habit ; but he was surprised with a 
violent illness, and died in a short time after. If we may 
judge from the greatness of his penitence, we may conclude 
his soul is glorious in paradise. His son outlived him not 
long, for he died of a fever and a flux, and I hope they are 
better where they are, than they were in this world. To 
conclude, in less than two years' time there were five kinga 
crowned in Naples; the three I have mentioned befure, 






1495.] FERRAND THE YOUNGER ENCAMPS AT ST. GERMAIN. 157 

Charles VIII. of France, and Don Frederic*, Alphonso's 
brother, who now reigns. 



Ch. XV.— How, after Ferrand the Yonnger was crowned King of Naples 
he encamped with his Forces at St. Germain, in order to oppose King 
Charles; and of the Agreement King Charles made with the Pope 
during his stay at Rome. — 1495. 

Now for the better understanding of all these affairs, you 
must know that King Ferrand, after his coronation was 
over, became a new man, supposing all the odium and re- 
sentment of past injuries were buried in oblivion upon his 
lather's abdicating the throne. He assembled all tiie forces 
lie could raise, both of horse and foot, and marched with 
them to St. Germain f, which is a strong place, and easy to 
defend (though the French passed it twice), upon the fron- 
tiers of his kingdom. Having encamped there, and put a 
strong garrison, with all manner of provisions, into the 
town, his friends began to take heart. The town is defended 
in two ways, by a small river| that is fordable sometimes, 
and by a great mountain which seems to hang over it. 

The king in the meantime was at Rome, and continued 
there about twenty days, during which time several affairs 
of importance were transacted. There were with him about 
eighteen cardinals, and others from various parts ; among 
whom there were the Lord Ascanio, vice-chancellor and 
brother to the Duke of Milan, and the Cardinal of St. Peter 
ad Vincula (great foes to one another, but mortal enemies to 
the Pope), the Cardinals of Gurce §, St. Dennis ||, St. Seve- 

* He was crowned King of Naples in 1495. He reigned but six or 
seven years before he was dethroned ; after which he retired into France, 
Where he died. 

f San Germano, fifteen miles from the frontier of Naples. 

J The Garigliano. 

§ Kaimond Perauld, a native of Surgeres in Saintonge, became suc- 
cessively Bishop of Saintes, and Bishop of Gurce, in Germany; he was 
made a cardinal by Pope Alexander VI. in 1494, and died at Viterbo 
on the 5th of November, 1505. — Auberv, ii. 629. 

|| Jean de Vilhercs, Bishop of Lombez, and Abbot of St. Denis, waa 
created a cardinal iu 1491*, and died on the 6th of August, 1499.— 
DH3CAUSSET, 145. 



15H THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMBINES. f 1 l ( J5. 

rino*, Savellyj", Colonna, and others; all of them earnest 
for a new election, and that the Pope might be deposed, who 
was then in his castle. Twice our great guns were made 
ready to fire (as I have been told by several persons of 
quality); but both times the king in his mercy opposed it. 
The place is not defensible, being built upon a small hill, 
and that merely artificial. It was alleged that the walls 
had fallen down by miracle, and they charged his Holiness 
with having given money for the papacy, and they said the 
truth; but Cardinal Ascanio was the principal merchant, for 
it was he that drove the bargain and received most of the 
money, besides the house in which the Pope lived when he 
was vice-chancellor, with all the rich furniture, and his vice- 
chancellorship, and several other places of St. Peter's patri- 
mony besides ; for they two were competitors for the pope- 
dom. However, I am of opinion they would both have 
consented to a new election at the kind's pleasure, though it 
had been to choose a Frenchman. I will not pretend to say 
whether the king acted well or ill, but I think his best way 
was to compose matters amicably, as he did ; for he was a 
young man, and incapable of performing so important a 
work as the reformation of the Church, though, perhaps, his 
strength might have been sufficient. Could he have under- 
taken and gone through with it, I question not but all men 
of wisdom and reason would have acknowledged it to have 
bee; a good, great, and holy work ; but great mystery would 
havt been necessary. However, the king's intentions were 
good, and are so still, if he were vigorously assisted. 

The king took another course, and came to an accommo- 
dation | with the Pope, which could not possibly last long, 
for it was too violent in some points, and there was great 
talk of making an alliance, of which we shall speak more 
hereafter. By this agreement there was to be peace 
between the Pope and his cardinals; and the said cardinals 

* Federigo de Sanseverino, fourth son of Robert Count of Cajazzo, 
was made a cardinal in 1489, and died on the 7th of August, 1516. — 
Aubery, ii. 600. 

f Giambattista Savelli, a noble Roman, was made a cardinal on the 
15th of May, 1480, and died on the 18th of September, 1498. — Aubery, 
ii 518. 

X Dated on the 15th of January, 1495. 



1495.] THE KING LEAVES ROME FOR NATLES. 159 

were to receive all the rights and perquisites belonging to 
their dignities, as well absent as present; and the Pope was 
to deliver four towns to the king, Terracina, Civita Vecchia, 
Viterbo (which was in his hands already), and Spoleto ; but 
this last he never delivered, notwithstanding his promise. 
All these towns were to be restored to the Pope upon the 
king's return out of Naples, which was performed on the 
king's part, though the Pope had not dealt fairly with him. 
By this agreement he also delivered the Grand Seignior's 
brother* to the king, for whom he received constantly 
every year of the Great Turk forty-five thousand ducats, 
for he was greatly afraid of him. He further promised not 
to put a legate into any place under the jurisdiction of the 
Church without the king's approbation. There were other 
articles relating to the consistory, for which and the rest, 
his son the cardinal of Yalentia f was given in hostage, who 
attended the king instead of a legate. The king on his part 
did his filial obedience with all imaginable humility, and the 
Pope created two cardinals at his request ; one was Monsieur 
Brissonet, who had before been made Bishop of St. Malo ; 
the other was the Bishop of Mans J, of the house of Luxem- 
bourg, and then resident in France. 



Ch. XVI. — How the King departed from Rome to Naples; of the 
Transactions in that Kingdom in the Meantime; and an Account oi 
the Places the King of France passed through in his March. — 1495. 

Matters being adjusted after this manner, the king 'eft 
Rome§ seemingly in great friendship with the Pope, hut 

* Ziz'm. See note, p. 67. of this volume. 

f Ccesar Borgia, a natural son of Pope Alexander VI., was created a 
cardinal on the 20th of September, 1493. He resigned his hat in 1498, 
in the hope of making a great marriage; and received the titles of 
Duke of Komagna in Italy, and Valentinois in France. He died on 
tiie 12th of March, 1507, having crowded into a comparatively short lrt'e 
til the worst crimes of which human nature is capable. 

£ Philippe de Luxembourg, Bishop of Terouenne and Mans, w&a 
treated a cardinal on the 27th of January, 1497, and iied on the 2ud 
of June, 1519. 

§ On the 28th of January, 1495. 



160 THK MKMOIRS OF PIULIP DE COMM1NES. [1495. 

eight cardinals left the town in a rage, of whom six were 
partisans of the vice-chancellor and the cardinal of St. Peter 
ad Vincula, though it was supposed this was only a feint 
of Ascanio's, and that at bottom he was agreed with the 
Pope ; but his brother * had not then declared himself our 
enemy. The king marched with his army to Genzano, and 
from thence to Velitri, where the Cardinal of Valentia gave 
him the slip. 

The next morning the king took Monte-fortino by storm, 
and put the garrison to the sword. The place belonged to 
James Visconti, who had entered into the king's service, 
and afterwards deserted him ; for the Visconti are of the 
faction of the Ursini. From thence the king marched to 
Valmontone, which belonged to the Colonne, and thence ad- 
vanced to within four miles of Mount St. John, a stronar 
place, which he battered seven or eight hours with his heavy 
cannon, and then took it by storm t, and put all or nearly 
all the garrison to the sword. It was church land, and be- 
longed to the Marquis diPescara^; and there our whole 
army joined. From thence the king marched about sixteen 
miles to St. Germain, where the new King Ferrand was en- 
camped, as I said before, with all the forces he was able to 
assemble. There was now no remedy ; this was the place for 
Jiim to fight in or not at all, for it was the entrance into his 
kingdom, and he was advantageously posted, both in respect 
of the river and the mountain. He had also sent a strong 
detachment to secure the pass at Cancello, which is in the 
mountains, about six miles from St. Germain ; but before 
the king's approach, Ferrand retired with great precipita- 
tion, and abandoned both the town and the pass. Monsieur 
de Guise § commanded the van that day, and the Lord de 
Rieux |] was ordered to take the pass at Cancello, which the 

* The Duke of Milan. 

•f On the 11th of February, 1495. 

\ Alfonso de Avalos, Marquis of Pescara, and Lord Chamberlain to 
Ferdinand L, King of Naples. 

§ Louis D'Armagnac, Duke of Nemours and Count of Guise, after- 
wards appointed Viceroy of Naples ; killed in the battle of Cerignola, • 
on the 28th of April, 1503. — Anselme, iii. 429. 

|| John, Lori of Eieux and Eochefort, Count of Harcourt, and Mar- 
shal of Bretagne, born on the 27th of June, 1447, and died on the 9th 
of February, 1518. 



1 495. J THE KING OF FRANCE ENTERS NAPLES. 161 

Arragonians ought to have defended ; but they also abandoned 
their post, so that the king entered St. Germain * without 
any resistance. King Ferrand retreated to Capua, where 
they received him and some few of his retinue, but refused 
to admit his whole army. He made no long stay among 
them at that time, but only entreated them to continue faith- 
ful to him, promising to return the next day ; and away he 
posted to Naples, suspecting the rebellion which afterwards 
happened there. The greater part of his army he left be- 
hind, and commanded them to attend him at Capua; but 
when he came back the next day they were all fled. Virgil 
Ursini, and his cousin the Count dePettilane, went to Nola, 
where they and their party were taken by our men. They 
affirmed that they had a safe-conduct, and that we did them 
wrong ; and it was true enough, but their passport had not 
y<t come to their hands ; however, they paid nothing for 
their ransom, only they were plundered, and, to speak the 
truth, their loss was very considerable. 

From St. Germain the king marched to Mignano and 
Teano, and encamped at Calvi, two miles from Capua, where 
the inhabitants of that city came to treat with him, and the 
king entered it with his whole army.f From Capua he 
marched the next day to Aversa, midway between Capua 
and Naples, about five miles distant from l^oth. The chief 
of the Neapolitans waited on his majesty there, and they 
came to an accommodation, by which their ancient liberties 
and privileges were secured to them. The king sent thither 
before him the Marshal de Gie, the Seneschal of Beaucaire, 
tlie President Gannay, who kept the seals, and his secretaries. 
King Ferrand, finding how matters went, and seeing the 
people and nobility in arms against him, and his great stables 
plundered before his face, got immediately aboard a galley, 
and made the best of his way to Ischia, which is a small 
inland about eighteen miles from Naples. And the King of 
France was received into the city of Naples with great 
.solemnity and joy^; all the people came out to meet him, 
and those who were under the greatest obligation to the 
house of Arragon came first, as particularly the family of 

* On the 14th of February, 149&. 
t On the 19th of February, 1495. 
j On Sunday, the 22nd of February, 1495. 

v ot„ n. v 



162 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

the Caraffi, who had at that time from the house of .Arragon 
above forty thousand ducats a year, in lands and employ- 
ments ; for the king3 in that country can dispose of their 
own demesnes, as well as other people's ; and I am of opinion 
there are not three considerable estates in the whole king- 
dom which are not held of the crown or other persons. 

Never people expressed so great zeal and affection to any 
king or nation as they did to ours ; for they supposed them- 
selves delivered from all tyranny, so that everywhere they 
willingly submitted to us. The whole country of Calabria 
yielded, and the Lord d'Aubigny and Peron de Basche were 
sent to command them, without any forces of their own. 
The Abruzzi revolted of their own accord, and the town of 
Aquila, which was always in the French interest, set them 
an example. In Apulia they did the same, all but the 
castle of Brindisi, which is strong and well- manned, and 
the town of Gallipoli, which had also a strong garrison 
in it, or else the inhabitants would have revolted. In 
Calabria there were three places which held out for King 
Ferrand ; two of them were Amantea and Tropea, anciently 
devoted to the house of Anjou, and they at first set up the 
arms of France ; but, because the king had given them to 
Monsieur de Persi*, and would not make them part of his 
own demesnes, they pulled down his arms, and erected the 
banners of Arragon. The third place was the castle of 
Reggio, which continued firm to the house of Arragon ; but 
all that stood out did so for want of being summoned to 
surrender; for there was not a sufficient body of troops sent 
into Apulia and Calabria to have kept one castle for the 
king. Tarento voluntarily surrendered both castle and 
town, and so did Otranto, Monopoli, Trani, Manfredonia, 
Barletta, and all but those places which I excepted before. 
They came three days' journey to meet our army, and 
hedged of us to receive their respective cities into our pro- 
tection. They sent likewise all of them to Naples, and all 
the princes and great lords of the kingdom came thither to 
do homage to our king, except the Marquis de Pescara, but 
his brothers and nephews came. The Count d'Acri and 

* Francois d'Alegre, Count of Joigny, Baron of Viteaux, and Lord 
of Precy, was Grand Master of the Woods and Forests of Fiance in 
1495. 






1495.] KING FERRAND SAILS TO SICILY. 163 

the Marquis de Squillazzo fled into Sicily, because our king 
had given their estates to the Lord d'Aubigny. There also 
arrived at Naples the Prince of Salerno, newly come from 
sea; but he had done nothing considerable. His cousin, the 
Prince of Bisignano, was there also with his brothers, and 
the Dukes of Melfi * and Gravina "j", and the old Duke of 
Sora, who heretofore had sold his duchy to the Cardinal of 
St. Peter ad Vincula, whose brother J enjoys it at this 
day. The Counts of Monterio, Fondi, Tripalda, and Celano 
(which last had been banished a long time, and was re- 
turned with the king) came also to Naples. The Count de 
Troye, a young Scottish gentleman, but educated in France, 
was there also, and the Count de Popoli, whom we found 
prisoner in Naples. The young Prince of Rossano, who, as 
I said before, was long a prisoner with his father, who had 
been confined thirty-four years, was released, and accom- 
panied King Ferrand to Ischia. There came also to Naples 
the Marquis de Venafro, all the Caldoresques §, the Count 
de Matalon, and the Count de Merillano, whose predecessors 
had always governed the house of Arragon ; and, in short, 
all the nobility of that kingdom, except the three persons 
whom I mentioned before. 



Ch. XVII. — How King Charles was crowned King of Naples; tho 
Errors he committed in his Government of that Kingdom; and of the 
Discovery of a Design in his Favour against the Turks by the Vene- 
tians.— 1495. 

King Ferrand, when he fled from Naples, left the Mar- 
quis of Pescara and some Germans in the castle, and sailed 
himself into Sicily to demand succour of his father. Don 

* Trojanus Carracciolo, in whose favour the dukedom of Melfi was 
erected into a principality. 

f Francesco Orsini, Duke of Gravina, strangled, by order of Caesar 
Borgia, on the 18th of January, 1503. — Sismondi, xiii. 182. 

J Giovanni della Kovere, Duke of Sora and Acri, and F:efcct of 
Rome, died in 1501. 

§ The Caldoresehi, or members of the Caldora family. 

u . 



164 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1495. 

Frederic still kept at sea with some few galleys, and came 
twice (with a passport) to treat with our king. His de- 
mands were, that some part of the kingdom should be 
left to his nephew, with the title of king ; and that he 
ehould himself enjoy all the lands which belonged to him and 
his wife. His request was not unreasonable, for his own 
estate was but small : the king offered to give both him and 
his nephew an equivalent in France ; and I am of opinion his 
majesty would have given them some considerable duchy, but 
they did not think fit to accept it ; besides, there was no 
trusting them in the kingdom of Naples ; for they would 
have observed no articles of agreement any longer than it 
had been for their advantage. So we erected our batteries 
against the castle of Naples, and began to fire upon it. The 
Marquis de Pescara was gone out of it, and there were only 
A few Germans in it. Had we sent but four of our great 
guns into the island, we had certainly carried it ; but from 
thenceforward our misfortunes returned. For all the rest of 
the towns (which were not above four or five) would have 
fallen into our hands of course; but we spent our time in 
gaiety, entertainments, dancing, and tournaments, and grew so 
insolent and vain, we scarce considered the Italians to be 
men. Our king was crowned, and had his lodgings in the 
castle of Capoana, and sometimes went to Mont-Imperial * : 
to the subjects of that kingdom he did many good acts, and 
abated their taxes ; so that I believe the people would 
never have rebelled of themselves (though they are natu- 
rally inconstant), had we but obliged some few of the no- 
bility; but they were slighted, and treated uncivilly at the 
very gates. Those of the house of Caraffa (though friends 
to the house of Arragon) were used the best ; yet they 
escaped not quite without loss. Every one else was de- 
prived of his offices and estate; and the partisans of the 
house of Anjou fared a great deal worse than the friends of 
Arragon. Orders were sent into the county of Merillano, 
and the President Gannay and the seneschal (lately made 
Duke of Nola, and grand chamberlain of the kingdom) were 
suspected to have taken money for obtaining them : by 



- Fnwably Fog-gio Reale, a palace near Naples, which Charles VIII 
Hrequentlv visited. 






1495.] DESIGN AGAINST THE TCIIICS. lOfl 

those orders every one was to be confirmed in his posses- 
sions, only the partisans of the house of Anjou were to be 
excluded from their estates, unless they could make good 
their titles by law ; and for such as had entered of their own 
accord (as the Count di Celano) they were to be ejected by 
force. All estates and offices were conferred upon two 01 
three Frenchmen, and all the stores of provision in the 
castle of Naples (which were found to be very considerable 
upon the taking of it) were given to any man that asked, 
with the king's knowledge and consent. 

During these transactions the Germans capitulated, and 
delivered up the castle, keeping all the goods that were in 
it (to a vast value) for themselves. Another castle, called 
Castel del Ovo, was taken by storm ; by which it may be 
perceived that what was done was not done so much by 
the condi.ct or dexterity of the agents, as by the provi- 
dence of God ; but the great faults that were committed 
were the works of men puffed up by vain glory, and un- 
willing to acknowledge from whence their success and 
honour proceeded ; and their misfortune was the pure 
product of their own depraved nature and experience : 
so that their fortune changed as suddenly and visibly 
as the day rises in Norway or Iceland, where the days in 
summer are longer than in other parts, and one day is 
scarce ended until within a quarter of an hour before the 
next begins to dawn. In the same manner a wise man 
might have observed the face of their good fortune alter, 
and that enterprise miscarry (which, if had been ascribed to 
the true manager of it), would have contributed mightily to 
the honour and advantage of all Christendom. For the 
Turkish empire would have been as easily shaken as Al- 
phonso's kingdom ; for the emperor is still alive, and is a 
man of no reputation or courage, and his brother was in 
our king's hands (though he lived but a few days after the 
Cardinal of Valentia made his escape, and was supposed to 
have been poisoned), and the sultan dreaded him above all 
persons in the world. Besides, in the very heart of his 
empire there were thousands of Christians ready to take 
up arms; and from Otranto to Valona* is not above sixty 

* Avlona, or Valona, a town in Albania, situated on the headland 
known as Cape Linguetta, in the Adriatic Sea. 



166 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1495 

miles, and from Valona to Constantinople about eighteen 
days' journey, as I have been informed by men who have 
often travelled between those places, and in all the way 
there are not above two or three strong towns, the rest 
having been dismantled. The countries that lie between 
are Albania, Sclavonia, and Greece, all of them very po- 
pulous, and acquainted with the fame and character of our 
king by their correspondents in Venice and Apulia, to whom 
they wrote constantly, and awaited only their directions 
to rebel. The king sent thither to them the Archbishop 
of Durazzo*, who was an Albanian born ; and, discours- 
ing with multitudes of the children and grandchildren of 
several great lords, descendants of Scanderbegf, one son 
of the Emperor of Constantinople |, several of the nephews 
of the Lord Constantine§ (at present Governor of Mont- 
ferrat), and some nephews or cousins to the King of Servia, 
he found them all inclinable to revolt. In Thessaly above 
five thousand men would have appeared, and Scutari and 
Croia would have been surprised by means of the Lord Con- 
stantine, who lay concealed several days in my house at 
Venice ; for Macedonia and Thessaly, which formerly be- 
longed to Alexander the Great, were his inheritance. Va- 
lona is situated in them ; Scutari and Croia are not far off; 
but in his time his father or uncle || mortgaged them to the 
Venetians, who lost Croia, and Scutari was surrendered to 
the Turk upon articles of peace. \. The said Lord Con- 
stantine was at that time within three leagues of them ; and 

* Paolo Angelo, Archbishop of Durazzo, a native of Drivasto in 
Albania, and a friend and councillor of Scanderbeg. — Hammer, iii 
123. 

f George Castriota, suraamed Iskender-beg, or the Lord Alexander, 
was an Albanian prince, celebrated for his heroic warfare against the 
Turks. He was born in 1404, and died in 1467. His death was soon 
followed by the entire submission of Albania to the Turkish yoke. 

J Probably Thomas Palasologus, son of the Emperor Manuel, and 
brother of Constantine Dragases, the last Emperor of Constantinople. 

§ Constantine Aranito, of the family of the Comneni, and uncle to 
Mary Duchess of Montferrat. 

|| George, son of Stracimer Balch, Prince of Scutari, gave that town 
to the Venetians in 1394. — Mdratori, xxii. 762. 

\. Croia, in Albania, was given to the Venetians by Scanderbtg, and 
surrendered to Mahomet II. on the 15th of June, 1478. S*nitari was 
ceded by treaty on the 26th of January, 1479.— Hammes, iii 227 



1495] ARCHBISHOP OF DUHAZZO TAKEN. lG"* 

the enterprise would have been executed, had not the Arch- 
bishop of Durazzo stayed at Venice some time after Con- 
stantine's departure. I pressed him hard to depart, for I 
thought him a person that could not keep a secret long; and 
he went up and down boasting that he was ahout an atfair 
which would make him celebrated all over Christendom. By 
ill fortune, on the very day that the Venetians had news of 
the death of the Turk's brother, whom the Pope had deli- 
vered to our king, they resolved to give notice of it to 
the Sultan by one of their secretaries ; and being assured 
that whoever brought the first news would be certain of a 
great reward, they ordered that no vessel should pass between 
the two castles in the night (which castles command the 
entrance of the gulf of Venice); to prevent which they 
posted guards at both of them, being fearful of nothing so 
much as the small vessels and grips*, as they call them, of 
which there are great numbers in the ports of Albania, and 
their islands in Greece. 

The poor archbishop happened that very night to set out 
upon the Lord Constantine's enterprise, and carrying along 
with him abundance of swords, bucklers, and javelins, for the 
useof hisconfederates who wanted them; as he passed between 
the two castles he was stopped and taken, and himself and 
servants secured in one of them ; but the vessels had leave 
to go on. They searched him, and found letters about him 
that discovered the whole plot ; and the Lord Constantine 
has told me since that the Venetians sent immediate notice 
to all the Turkish garrisons that were near, and an express 
to the Grand Signor himself; so that, had it not been for 
the grip which they suffer to pass (whose master was an 
Albanian who gave him notice), the Lord Constantine had 
been taken ; but he escaped by sea, and got away into 
Apulia, 

• SmaJ vessels corresponding Tith our modem brigantinc*. 



1 68 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [ I 495. 



Ch. XVIII. — A Digression or Discourse, by no Means unconnected 
with the main Subject, in which Philip de Commines, Author of this 
present Book, speaks at some Length of the State and Government of 
the Signory of Venice, and of what he saw, and what was done, while 
he was Ambassador from the King of Trance in the City of Venice. 
—1495. 

It is now high time for me to say something of the Vene- 
tians, and of the occasion of my being sent thither in an 
embassy while the king was employed in his affairs at 
Naples. I was sent from Asti to return them thanks for 
the civil and obliging answers they had given to two former 
ambassadors from his majesty, and to endeavour, if possible, 
to continue them in his friendship, and to cultivate a good 
understanding with them ; for he saw their power, wisdom, 
and conduct was more like to disturb him than any other 
state in Italy. The Duke of Milan hastened my despatch, 
and wrote to his resident there (where he constantly had 
one) to assist me, and give me instructions to whom I should 
apply myself. His ambassador had an allowance from the 
Signory of a hundred ducats a month, his lodgings well 
furnished, and three gondolas to carry him about the town 
without expense ; and the Venetian ambassador has the same 
at Milan, excepting the boats ; for there they go on horse- 
back, and at Venice in boats. In my journey thither I 
passed by several of their cities, Brescia, Verona, Vicenza, 
Padua, and other places. I was treated very civilly wher- 
ever I came, in honour to the monarch who sent me, and the 
people came out to meet me in great bodies, with their 
Podesta or captain * ; both of them never came out to- 
gether, but the captain met me at the gate. When I had 
entered the town I was conducted to my lodgings ; the 
master of the house was commanded that I should want no- 
thing, and my whole charges were borne, and mighty good 
words given me into the bargain ; yet, if you compute what 
must necessarily be given to the drums, trumpets, and officers 
in those ceremonies, an ambassador will be found to save 
but little ; however, my reception was most honourable. 

* The Podesta was the civil governor of the town* the captain the 
military commandant. 



149.".] C0M3nxES enters Venice. 1U9 

The day that I made my entry into Venice they sent 
to meet me as far as Fusinn, which is five miles from 
Venice ; there you leave the boats which bring you down 
the river * from Padua, and get into little boats covered 
with tapestry and very neat, with fair carpets within, and 
velvet cushions to sit upon. To this place you come from 
, Venice by sea, as it is the next place to Venice upon terra 
firma ; but the sea (unless agitated by some storm) is very 
calm, which is the reason of the great abundance of all sorts 
of fish. I was extremely surprised at the situation of this 
city, to see so many churches, monasteries, and houses, and 
all in the water; and the people have no other passage up 
and down the streets but in boats, of which, I believe, they 
have near thirty thousand, but they are very small. About 
the city, within less than the compass of half a French 
league, there are seventy religious houses both of men and 
women, all situated in little islands, very beautiful and 
magnificent both in building and furniture, with fair gardens 
belonging to them; without reckoning those in the city, 
where there are the four orders of mendicants, and seventy- 
two parishes, besides several fraternities ; and, indeed, it is 
most strange to behold so many stately churches in the sea. 
I was met and complimented at Fusina by five and twenty 
gentlemen, richly dressed in silks and scarlets; they wel- 
comed me with abundance of civility, and conducted me to 
St. Andrew's church, which was near the town, where as 
many other gentlemen met and complimented me. These 
were accompanied by the ambassadors of Milan and Ferrara ; 
and alter they had made another speech to me I was con- 
ducted into other larger boats, which they called Plats, two 
of which were covered with crimson satin, and spread with 
tape-try at the bottom, big enough to hold forty persons ; 
and placing me between the two ambassadors (the middle 
being the most honourable place in Italy), I was conducted 
through the principal street, which they call the Grand 
Canal, and it is so wide that galleys frequently cross one 
another ; indeed I have seen vessels of four hundred tons or 
more ride at anchor just by the houses. It is the fairest and 
best-built street, I think, in the world, and goes quite through 
th2 city; the houses are very large and loity, and built of 

* The Brcuta. 



170 th E MEMuins of ruiLir de commixes. ri 495 



u 



stone; the old ones are all painted; those of about a hun- 
dred years standing are faced with white marble from Istria 
^which is about a hundred miles from Venice), and inlaid 
with porphyry and serpentine. Within they have, most of 
them, two chambers at least adorned with gilt ceilings, rich 
marble chimney-pieces, bedsteads of gold colour, their por- 
tals of the same, and most gloriously furnished. In short, 
it is the most triumphant city that I have ever seen, the 
most respectful to all ambassadors and strangers, governed 
with the greatest wisdom, and serving God with the most 
solemnity ; so that, though in other things tliey miglit be 
faulty, I believe God blesses them for the reverence they 
show in the service of the church. 

In the company of these fifty gentlemen I was conveyed 
to St. George's (which is an abbey of reformed black friars), 
wher» I had an apartment prepared for me. The next 
morning they came to wait on me again, and conducted me 
to the Signory, where I delivered my credentials to the 
Doge *, who presides in all their councils, and is honoured 
as a king. AH letters are addressed to him, but of himself 
lie cannot do much ; yet this one had greater authority than 
any of his predecessors, for he had been Doge for above 
twelve years ; and I found him a prudent man, of great ex- 
perience in the affairs of Italy, and civil and courteous in 
Ids person. The first day of my arrival was spent in receiv- 
ing their compliments, and viewing three or four chambers 
in the duke's palace ; in which the ceilings, beds, and portals 
were all richly gilt ; the apartments are very fine, but the 
court is not large. The palace is splendid and rich in all it 
contains, being built of finely carved marble, and the whole 
front and lacings are of stone, gilt an inch thick ; and there 
are in this palace four handsome saloons, richly gilt, and 
very spacious. The Doge from his own chamber can hear 
mass at the high altar in the chapel of St. Mark, which, for 
a chapel, is the most magnificent piece of building in the 
universe, being built of mosaic work in every part, of which 
they pretend to be the inventors ; and, indeed, it is a great 
trade amongst them, as I have seen. 

* Agostito Barberigo, elected Doge :n the 3Cth of August, 1486 
held the office for fifteen years. 






1495.] DESCRIPTION OF VENICE. 171 

In this chapel their treasure (of which so much is said) is 
kept, and intended only for the decoration of their churches ; 
there are twelve or fourteen rubies, the largest I ever saw ; 
one of them weighs seven, the other eight hundred carats, 
but botli of them are unpolished ; there are twelve other 
stones in cases of gold, with the edges and forepart set 
richly with very fine jewels. There are also twelve crowns 
of gold, wherewith, anciently, upon certain festivals in the 
year, twelve women of the city were crowned ; and being 
styled and attended as queens, they passed in great pomp 
and solemnity through all the churches and islands. But, at 
length, certain robbers from Istria and Friuli (which are not 
far off), concealed about those islands, took their opportunity 
and surprised a number of the women of the city. Their 
husbands pursued, overtook, and recovered them ; upon 
which they offered up their crowns to St. Mark, and founded 
a chapel, to which the Signory repairs every year upon the 
day of their victory. There is also great store of rich orna- 
ments for the church, with several fair pieces of gold, many 
fine amethysts and agates, and some small emeralds. But 
this is not a treasure of equal value with ready money, and, 
indeed, they have not much of that kind of treasure ; for 
the Doge told me in the Senate-house that it is a capital 
crime among them to suggest collecting a tivasure of that 
nature; and they are right, for it might cause dissension 
among them. After they had shown me their treasure I 
was carried to see their arsenal, where their galleys are 
equipped, and all things necessary provided for their navies ; 
which, perhaps, is even now the finest in the world, and was 
formerly under better order and regulation. 

In short, I resided there eight months at their expense, and 
all the other ambassadors who were there had the same treat- 
ment ; in which time I can assure you I found them so wise, 
and so intent upon enlarging their territories, that, if it be 
not prevented in time, all the neighbouring States may 
lament it too late. For since our king's expedition into 
Italy they have been much more dexterous and skilful in 
attacking and defending themselves than formerly ; for they 
sire still at war with him, and yet they have extended their 
dominions, and lent money upon the security of seven or 
eight cities in Apulia, which I am not sure will ever be re 



172 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

Btored.* Besides, at the king's first coming into Italy they 
did not imagine towns could have been taken so easily (con- 
trary to their custom), nor in so short a time ; but since 
they have been better instructed in the art of war, they have 
fortified their towns very strongly, and other common- 
wealths have done the same. It is not to be expected that 
they should attain to the perfection and grandeur of the old 
Romans, for their bodies are not so able to bear the fatigues 
of war, neither are they of such a martial genius ; for they 
never make war upon the continent in their own persons, as 
the Komans did ; but they send their Proveditori and other 
officers, with their general, to furnish his army with provi- 
sions, and assist him in his councils of war. But their naval 
expeditions are wholly managed by their own people ; their 
fleet, both galleys and ships, being manned with their own 
subjects, and commanded by their own nobility. Another 
great advantage they have by not going in person to the 
wars upon terra jirma, and that is, there is no man among 
them of that boldness or interest as to dare to make 
any attempt to seize the government, as they did in Rome ; 
which is great wisdom, and prevents many civil contentions, 
against which they have provided in several ways, and all 
very wisely. They have no tribunes of the people, as they 
had in Rome (and those tribunes were in part the cause of 
its destruction) ; the people among them are of no authority, 
are consulted in no affair of state, and are incapable of bear- 
ing any office ; for all their officers, except the secretaries, 
are chosen out of the gentry ; and thus the greater part of 
the people have no share in the government. Titus Livius 
has acquainted them perfectly with the defects of the Ro- 
man government, and they have his history in great esteem, 
and his bones are preserved in their palace at Padua ; so 
that, for these and many other reasons which I observed 
amongst them, I do once more affirm that they are in a fair 
way to be a very powerful people hereafter. 

* In 1496 Ferdinand II. gave the towns of Otranto, Brindisi, Tram, 
Monopoli, and Pulignano to the Venetians as security for a debt of 
200,000 ducats which he owed them. But all thi Venetian possessions 
in the kingdom of Naples were restorei to Ifeidinand the Catholic in 
1509, 



I 495. J HIS EMBASS1 TO VENICE. 173 



Ch. XIX. — What were the Subjects of the Embassy of the Lora of 
Argenton to the Republic of Venice. — 1495. 

But to come to the business of my embassy: it was to thank 
the Venetians for their civil answers which they had given 
to two of our king's ambassadors who had been sent to 
them before ; by which answers he was encouraged to pro- 
ceed boldly in his enterprise ; and all this passed before his 
majesty left Asti.* I gave them a large discourse of the old 
alliances between the kings of France and their republic, 
and offered them Brindisi and Otranto, upon condition they 
would engage to restore them, when my master should de- 
liver them two better towns in Greece. They spoke very 
honourably both of the king and his affairs ; for they did not 
imagine he would proceed veiy far. As to the offer which 
I made them, they replied that they were his friends and 
servants, and would not permit him to purchase their alli- 
ance (for our king had not yet these towns in his power) ; 
and that they were not altogether unprovided for war, if 
they thought fit to engage in it; but they were resolved not 
to do it, though the Neapolitan ambassadors solicited them 
daily, and offered them very advantageous terms. And King 
Alphonso (who then reigned) confessed he had behaved 
himself very ill towards them, and laid before them the ill 
consequences which would accrue to them if our master suc- 
ceeded in his designs. 

The Turk, on the other hand, sent an ambassador imme- 
diately to them (and I saw him several times), who, at the 
Pope's request, threatened them heavily if they did not de- 
clare war against our king. They gave fair answers to all 
the ambassadors; for they had no apprehension of us at that 
time, and did but laugh at our expedition. For indeed the 
Duke of Milan had told them, by his ambassador, that they 
need not concern themselves in this affair, for he knew how 
to send our king back again, without having got any footing 
in Italy; and he sent the same message to Peter de Medicis, 
who told me of it afterwards. But when they and the Duke 
of Milan saw the king had got those towns of the FlcreiH 

• The king left Asti on the 6th of October, 1494. 



174 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1195. 

tines in his possession, and especially Pisa, they began to 
grow afraid of his designs, and to contrive how they might 
hinder him from advancing farther ; but their consulta- 
tions were tedious, and in the meantime his majesty's affairs 
went prosperously on. However, messengers passed con- 
stantly from one to the other, and the King of Spain began 
to be afraid for his isles of Sicily and Sardinia. The King 
of the Romans began also to be jealous of the imperial 
crown, upon which he was persuaded by some persons that 
our king had a design, and that he had requested it of the 
Pope ; but this was not true. 

For these reasons the two kings sent formal ambassadors 
to Venice during my residence there. The King of the 
Romans, being their neighbour, first sent the Bishop of 
Trent * as the chief in that embassy, and with him two gen- 
tlemen and a doctor-at-law ; they were received with great 
ceremony and respect, entertained as handsomely as myself, 
had ten ducats a day allowed them for their expense, and 
the charge of their horses (which were left at Treviso) was 
borne besides. Not long after this there arrived a person of 
qualityf from Spain, with a numerous retinue, and in a very 
splendid equipage, who was received as honorably as the 
other, and his charges also borne. The Duke of Milan, be- 
sides the ambassador he had there already, sent the Bishop 
of Coino^, and Signor Francisco Bernardino Visconti.§ 
They began to have private conferences in the night, at 
first by means of their secretaries ; for they durst not declare 
publicly against the king (especially the Duke of Milan and 
the Venetians), not knowing what the success of this con- 
federacy might be. The Duke of Mdan's ambassadors made 
me a visit, brought me letters from their master, and told 
me their coining was in return for the visit of two ambassa- 
dors whom the Venetians had sent to Milan ; whereas the 
custom was only to have one resident there, and at last they 
had no more. But all this was but artifice and deception ; 

• Ulrich von Lichtenstein, Bishop of Trent, who died on the 16th of 
September, 1505. 

f Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza y Figueroa. — Sismondi, xii. 266. 

% Antonio Trivulzio, created a cardinal in 1500, died on the 18th of 
March, 1508.— Imhoff, 86. 

§ Francesco Bernardo Visconti, elected a ducal councillor in 1484 



1495.] IHS EMBASSY TO VENICE. l"5 

for they all came on purpose to make an alliance against 
our good king, and so many secret cabals could not be 
carried on long without becoming known. They next asked 
me if I did not know what was the cause of the coming of the 
ambassadors from Spain and the King of the Romans, that 
they might give their master an account of it. But I was 
informed before (by the servants of the ambassadors and 
others) that the Spanish ambassador had passed through 
Milan in disguise, and that the Germans were -wholly 
managed by the duke. Besides, I had notice that the Nea- 
politan ambassadors delivered several packets of letters 
hourly from their master (for all this was before our king's 
departure from Florence). I was at some expense for my 
intelligence, but what I had I could depend on. I had 
immediate notice of the treaty that was on foot, and what 
were the first proposals that were made, but not agreed to ; 
for in such consultations the Venetians are very long. For 
these reasons, and seeing the alliance near its conclusion, I 
would not pretend ignorance, but answered the Milanese 
ambassador that, since they carried things so strangely, I 
would let them know that my master would not lose the 
friendship of the Duke of Milan if there was a possibility 
of preserving it, and that I would acquit myself as an am- 
bassador, and excuse whatever ill reports might have been 
made to the Duke of Milan against my master. The duke, 
I presumed, was misinformed, and I said that he would do 
well to consider (before he lost the recompense of so great 
a service as he had already done the king) that the kings of 
France did not use to be ungrateful, and that a rash or 
inconsiderate word ought not to break a friendship that was 
of such importance to both of them ; and then I desired that 
they would inform me of their grievances, that I might ac- 
quaint my master with them before they proceeded any 
further. They swore to me all of them, with many impre- 
cations, that they had no such thoughts ; but they did but 
equivocate, for they came thither on purpose to negotiate 
this alliance. 

The next morning I went to the Signory to expostulate 
with them about it, and to say what I thought proper in 
the affair; among other things I told them, that by their 
alliance with my master, and their former alliance with his 



176 'l'HE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [149-5. 

father, it was mutually provided that neither should support 
the enemies of the other ; and that therefore this new league 
that was so much talked of could not be entertained by 
them without infraction of their promises. I was desired to 
withdraw, and, being called in again by and by, the Doge 
told me that I ought not to believe all the flying reports of 
the town ; for in Venice all people had the liberty of saying 
what they pleased. However, lie assured me they never 
had any thoughts of entering into an alliance against the 
king, nor ever had heard of it; but that their designs were 
quite contrary, and rather to make a league between my 
master, the two other kings, and all Italy, against the Turk, 
and that each should bear his proportion in the charge of 
the war ; and that if in Italy there should be any State or 
prince that refused to pay his share, the king and they 
together should compel him to do it. As to the war in 
which my master was at present engaged, they told me that 
they would endeavour to make an honourable peace for him ; 
and the terras which they proposed were, that my master 
should accept of a good sum of ready money, which they 
would advance upon the caution of certain towns in Apulia 
(which are now in their possession) ; and that the kingdom 
of Naples should be held of him by the Pope's consent, and 
pay him an annual tribute ; and that my master should 
keep three towns in his hands as a security. I wish to God 
he had accepted those advantageous offers. 

I replied that I had no instructions to enter into any 
such treaty ; and I desired that they would not be over- 
hasty in the conclusion of their alliance, that I might have 
time to acquaint my master with their proceedings, re- 
questing them (as I had done the others), that they would 
acquaint me with their grievances, and not conceal them as 
the ambassadors of Milan had done. Then they plainly 
told me that they were not pleased with the king's having 
seized upon the Pope's towns, much less with what he had 
taken from the Florentines, and particularly Pisa; alleging 
that my master had written to several princes, and to them 
among the rest, that he would meddle with nothing in Italy 
but the kingdom of Naples, and that, having conquered that, 
he would undertake an expedition against the Turk ; but 
that, nevertheless, he seemed desirous to get all he could 



1495.] THli VENETIANS C\UAE AGAINST TilE KING. 177 

conquer in Italy, and not meddle with the Turk at all. 
They told me also that the Duke of Orleans' continuance at 
Asti was a great terror to the Duke of Milan, and that the 
ministers of the Duke of Orleans had threatened him highly. 
However, they promised to conclude nothing before I had 
an answer from my master, or at least before a convenient 
time to receive it was past ; and they showed me more 
respect than the Duke of Milan. I acquainted his majesty 
with every particular, but his answer was unsatisfactory ; 
after which they had conferences every day, for they knew 
their designs were discovered. The King of France was at 
Florence in the meantime ; and if he had met with any oppo- 
sition at Viterbo, as was expected, they would have sent 
forces to Rome ; and they would have done the same if King 
Ferrand had continued at Rome, for they could not imagine 
he would have abandoned the city ; but, when they saw he 
was retired, they began to be afraid. Yet the ambassadors 
from the two kings pressed them hard to come to some reso- 
lution, declaring they would otherwise be gone ; for they had 
been there four months, every day soliciting the Signory; 
and I was as diligent in making an interest against them. 



Cn. XX. — How the Lord of Argenton was informed that the King had 
gained Possession of Naples and the Plaees round about; at which 
the Venetians were displeased. — 1495. 

When the Venetians understood that several towns in Italy 
had surrendered, and were informed of the king's being at 
Naples, they sent for me to tell me the news, and pretended 
to be extremely pleased with it; yet they gave me to un- 
derstand that the castle held out still against him ; that 
there was a strong garrison in it, and provided with every 
thing necessary for its defence; and I could perceive they 
had great hopes it would never be taken. Upon which 
ground they had consented that the Neapolitan ambassador 
should raise forces in Venice to be sent to Brindisi, and 
were just upon the conclusion of their league, wiien their 
ambassadors acquainted them by letter of the surrender o( 

VOL. II. M 



178 THE MEMOIRS OF rHII.II' DE COMM1NES. [1495. 

the castle of Naples.* They sent for me again one morning 
and I found about fifty or sixty of them assembled in their 
Doge's chamber, who was at that time ill of the cholic. The 
Doge, with a composed countenance, rather inclining to joy, 
told me the news ; but there was none in all the company 
could counterfeit so well as himself. Some of them sate 
upon low seats, with their elbows upon their knees, and 
their heads between their hands ; others in other postures, 
but all expressing great sorrow at heart ; and I believe after 
the battle of Cannae there was not more terror felt by the 
senators of Rome ; for not one of them had courage enough 
to look upon me or speak to me but the Doge himself, 
which I thought was very strange. The Doge asked me 
whether the king my master would now perform what he 
had always promised, and I had always told them. I assured 
them he would, and promised them to use my utmost en- 
deavours, by way of mediation, in hopes by this means to 
pacify their fears and jealousies ; and then I took my leave 
of them. 

Their league as yet was neither broken off nor concluded ; 
but the Germans were dissatisfied, and wished to be gone. 
The Duke of Milan would not consent to some of the articles ; 
but at length he sent instructions to his ambassadors to dis- 
patch, and in a short time the league was concluded. "Whilst 
this affair was in agitation I wrote constantly to our king, 
advising him to make peace, or else to continue in that king- 
dom, and provide himself better with men and money; but, 
if he did not approve of my advice, that he would be pleased 
to make good his retreat towards France, and put strong 
garrisons into the chief towns, before the confederates had 
assembled their forces. 1 wrote also to the Duke of Orleans, 
who was at Asti, but attended by his own domestics only (for 
1 lis forces were with the king), and advised him to throw 
more men into that town, assuring him that he would sud- 
denly be besieged in it. 1 sent likewise to the Duke of 
Uourbon (whom the king had left as his lieutenant in France) 
to send what forces he could spare to reinforce the garrison 
of Asti , for if that town were lost, no supplies could be sent 
to the king. I also gave notice to the Marchioness of Mont- 

• Od the 13th of March, 1495. 



1495.] TI1E VENETIANS DECLARE HOSTILITIES. 1 7f 

ferrat (who was true to the French, and a great enemy to 
♦,he Duke of Milan), that she might be ready to assist the 
Duke of Orleans with her forces, if there should be occasion t 
for the taking of A-ti would entail on her the loss of the two 
marquisates of Montferrat and Saluzzo. 

The league was concluded one night very late*; the next 
morning I was sent for by the Signory somewhat earlier than 
usual. As soon as I came thither, and had taken my seat, 
the Doge told me, that in honour to the H ly Trinity they 
had entered into an alliance with our Holy Father the Pope, 
the Kings of the Romans and of Castile, and the Duke of 
Milan, for three principal objects: one was to defend Chris- 
tendom against the Turk ; the second was the defence of 
Italy; and the third the preservation of their territories, 
which they desired I would notify to the king my master. 
They were in all about a hundred or more, looked very gay, 
and held their heads high, and there was no such sadness in 
tlieir countenances as upon the day when they heard of the 
surrender of the castle of Naples. They also told me that 
they had written to their ambassadors, who were attending 
on our king, to take their leave, and return to Venice. One 
of their ambassadors was Dominico Loredano, and the other 
Dominico Trevisano. I was extremely troubled and concerned 
for my master's person, as I feared that he and his whole 
army were in great danger ; for I thought the confederates 
were much forwarder than they were (as they also thought 
themselves), and that some German troops had been near at 
hand. If it had been so, the king could never have got out 
of Italy. I had resolved within myself to speak little in my 
passion ; but they provoked me beyond the bounds I had set 
myself. I told them that the night before I had sent my 
master notice of their alliance (as I had done often), and that 
he had written me word he had news of it, both from Milan 
and Rome. The Doge seemed to be surprised to hear I had 
written concerning the alliance on the night before ; for there 
are no people in the world so jealous, nor who keep their 
counsels so secret as they; and upon bare suspicion they 
many times imprison their dearest friends. Upon that con- 
6ideration I told them further, that I had written to the 

• On the 31st of March, 1 495.— Sismondi, xii. 270. 

H 2 



ISO THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COM5I1NE9. L 1_ ^5 

Dukes of Orleans and Bourbon to take care to reinforce the 
garrison of Asti ; and I said this in hopes to discourage them 
from attempting to surprise it, which they might certainly 
have done, had they been as ready as they pretended; for it 
was in a weak posture of defence a long time after. They re- 
plied that they had no hostile intentions against the king ; 
that what they had done, or should do, would be only in 
defence of themselves ; and they could not suffer that my 
master should amuse all Europe with his fair words, as he 
had done, saying that he wanted nothing but the kingdom of 
Naples, and would next turn his arms against the Turk ; and 
that then he should falsify his word, act quite contrary, pos- 
sess himself of what he could in the territories both of the 
Florentines and the Pope, and endeavour to destroy the Duke 
of Milan. To which I answered, that the kings of France 
had been so far from defrauding the Church of any of its re- 
venues, that, on the contrary, they had always augmented 
them, and defended its rights ; that those could not be the 
reasons for their league, as they pretended, but that they had 
a desire to involve Italy in new troubles, to make their ad- 
vantage out of them, and that I thought they intended to do 
it. They resented that expression of mine, as I was in- 
formed afterwards; however, it proved true, as appeared by 
the towns which King Ferrand pledged to them in Apulia 
to induce them to assist him against us. I rose up to take 
leave, but they made me sit down again ; and the Doge asked 
me if I had any overtures of peace to make, because on the 
day before I had said something to that purpose ; but that 
was only offered in case they would have protracted the con- 
clusion of the league for fifteen days longer, that I might have 
had time to write to his majesty, and receive his answer. 

After this I retired to my lodgings, and they sent for the 
rest of the ambassadors one after another. At my coming 
out of the council I met the Neapolitan ambassador in a fine 
new gown, and very gay ; and indeed he had reason to be so, 
for this was a lucky turn of affairs for him. After dinner 
all the ambassadors of the league met together in boats upon 
t\ae water (which in Venice is their chief recreation); the 
whole number of their boats (which are provided at the 
charge of the Signory, and proportioned to every man's re- 
tinue) was about forty, every one of them adurned with the 



1495.] PROCLAMATION OF THi: LEAGUE. 181 

arms of their respective masters ; and in this pomp they 
passed under my windows with their trumpets and other 
instruments of music. The amhassadors of Milan (at least one 
of them), who had kept me company fur many months, would 
take no manner of notice of me now. For three days together 
I and my domestics kept within doors ; though indeed I 
cannot say either they or I were affronted all the while, 
At night there were extraordinary fire- works upon the 
turrets, steeples, and tops of the ambassadors' houses, multi- 
tudes of bonfires were lighted, and the cannon all round the 
city were fired. I was in a covei'ed boat, rowing by the 
wharves to see this triumphal sight, about ten o'clock at 
night, especially before the ambassadors' houses, where there 
was great banqueting. 

But this was not the day on which the league was pro- 
claimed ; for the Pope had sent to them to defer it for some 
days, till Palm-Sunday, at which time he had ordered that 
every prince in whose dominions it was published, and all 
the ambassadors then with him, should carrvan olive-branch 
in their hand, in token of their alliance and peace ; and that 
upon the same day it should be published both in Germany 
and Spain. At Venice they made, a gallery of wood a good 
height above the ground (as they are wont to do at the in- 
auguration of their Doges), which reached from the palace to 
the end of the piazza of St. Mark ; upon which (after mass 
had been sung by the Pope's nuncio, who absolved all people 
who were present at the solemnity) they marched in proces- 
sion ; the Signory and the ambassadors all very splendidly 
dressed, several of them in crimson velvet gowns which the 
Signory had presented to them, at least to the Germans ; 
and all their retinue in new gowns, but these were a little 
of the shortest. After the procession was ended, a great 
many pageants and mysteries were exhibited to the people : 
first of all, Italy, and then the allied kings and princes, 
and the Queen of Spain. At their return, at a porphyry 
stone, where such things are usually done, proclamation was 
made, and the alliance published. There was at that time 
a Turkish ambassador, who looked privately through a 
window and saw this solemnity. He had taken leave, but 
was asked to stay to see this festival ; and at night, by the 
assistance of a Greek, he paid me a visit, and stayed four 

h 5 



182 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

hours in my chamber ; and his great desire was to cultivate 
a friendship betwixt his master and mine. I was twice in- 
vited to this feast, but desired to be excused ; yet I stayed 
nearly a month after in the town, and was all the while as 
civilly entertained as before the publication of this alliance. 
At length I was recalled ; and, having had an audience of 
leave, they gave me a passport, and conducted me safely to 
Ferrara at their own expense. The Duke of Ferrara came 
in person to meet me, and entertained me two days very 
handsomely at his own charge. The same civility I received 
at Bologna from Prince John Bentivoglio ; and, being sent 
for to Florence, I continued there in expectation of my 
master's coming, with the relation of whose affairs I shall 
now proceed. 



1495.] POSITION OF AFFAIRS IN NAPLES. 183 



BOOK THE EIGHTH. 



Ch. I. — Of the Order in which the King left his Affairs in the Kingdom 
of Naples upon his Return into France. — 1495. 

To continue my Memoirs, and for your better information, 
we must return to our discourse of the king, who, from his 
first arrival at Naples to his departure, minded nothing but 
his pleasures, and his ministers attended to nothing but their 
own advantage. His youth might excuse him in some mea- 
sure ; but nothing could excuse them, for the king referred 
all to their management ; and if they only had had the 
discretion to advise him to put strong garrisons into three 
or four of the chief castles, such as that of Gaeta ; nay, if 
he had only garrisoned the castle of Naples (whose maga- 
zines and furniture had been given away and embezzled, as 
you have heard), the kingdom of Naples had been his at this 
day ; for, if he had been master of that castle, the town 
would never have revolted. Upon the conclusion of this 
Italian alliance, he assembled all his forces together, 
and ordered 500 French men-at-arms, 2,500 Swiss, and 
some French foot to remain to guard the kingdom ; and 
with the rest he resolved to march back into France by the 
same way he came ; while the confederates were determined 
to stop him. The King of Spain had sent, and was still 
sending, his caravels * into Sicily, though with but few men 
on board them. However, before our king's departure they 
had garrisoned Rheggio in Calabria, which is near to 
Sicily. I had often acquainted my master with their designs 
of sending supplies thither, for the ambassador of Naples 
had told me so, supposing they had got there already ; and 
if the king had sent any forces thither in time, he would cer- 

* A sort of vessels with sails and oars, much used in the Mediter* 
rauean, 

K 4 



"U THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP PE COMMINES. [ 1 495. 

tainly have taken the castle; and the town had declared for 
him before. For want of our sending thither, the enemy landed 
forces at Mantia and Tropea. The townsmen of Otranto in 
Apulia had set up our king's colours ; hut, being informed of 
the new alliance, and considering how near neighbours they 
were both to Brindisi and Gallipoli, and how difficult it 
would be to furnish themselves with troops, they pulled 
them down again, and erected the standard of Arragon ; 
and Don Frederic, who was at Brindisi, supplied them with 
a garrison. There was a universal change in the minds of 
the people through the whole kingdom ; and fortune, which 
had been so propitious but two months before, began now to 
frown upon us ; both in relation to the alliance, the king's 
departure, and the great want in which he left the kingdom, 
and that rather in respect of officers than soldiers. 

The supreme command was committed to Monsieur de 
Montpensier* of the house of Bourbon, a brave soldier, and 
a noble gentleman ; but his valour was greater than his wis- 
dom, and, besides, he was so intolerably lazy, he would never 
rise till noon. In Calabria he left the Lord d'Aubigny, a 
Scotchman (a brave and worthy knight), to command in 
chief. The king had made him grand constable of the 
kingdom, and given him (as I said before) the county of 
Acri, and the marquisate of Squiilazzo. At his first com- 
ing thither the king had made the seneschal of Beaucaire, 
Stephen de Vers, governor of Gaeta, Duke of Nola, and 
lord high chamberlain, and all the money in that kingdom 
passed through his hands ; but he took more upon him than 
he was able to perform ; yet he was very desirous of keep- 
ing the kingdom of Naples. The king created the Lord Dom 
Julian f of Lorraine, Duke of St. Angelo, in which post he be- 
haved himself with a great deal of honour and reputation. Pie 
left Gabriel de MontfauconJ at Manfredonia. He was a per- 
son for whom the king had a great esteem ; but he managed 

* Gilbert de Bourbon, Count of Montpensier, Archduke of Sessa, and 
Viceroy of Naples. He died at Pozzuolo on the 5th of October, 1496. 

f Antoine de Ville, Lord of Domjulien, and Duke of Sant' Angelo in 
the kingdom of Naples, died at Naples in 1504. 

% Gabriel de Montfaucon, knight, Bailiff of Meaux, councillor and 
chamberlain to the King of France, and lieutenant of the hundred gen- 
tlcinen-at-arms of the royal household. 



149".] POSITION OF AFFAIRS IN NArLES. 185 

things imprudently there ; for, though he found it well pro- 
vided witli corn and everything else, yet he delivered it 
up in four days for want of provisions. To all his followers 
the king gave great estates in land ; but several sold what- 
ever they found in their castles, and it was reported 
that Gabriel did so too. At Trani he left William de 
Villeneuf * to defend the town ; but, being betrayed and sold 
by some of his own servants to Frederic, he was kept by 
him a long time in the galleys. He left Tarento to the com- 
mand of George de Suillyj", who behaved himself well, and 
held out till he was forced by famine to surrender, and then 
died there of the plague. In Aquila he placed the bailiff of 
VitryJ, who discharged his duty as he ought to do ; and 
Gratian des Guerres § did the same in Abruzzo. The king 
left them very little money, only assignments upon the 
revenue, and of that but very little was ever raised. The 
king took care to make a handsome provision for the 
princes of Salerno and Bisignano, who served him faith- 
fully, as long as it was in their power to do so. He also 
gratified the Colonne in whatever they demanded, and gave 
them and their friends the possession of about thirty towns; 
which, if they had defended as they ought and as they swore 
to do, they would have done his majesty singularservice, and 
reaped the honour and advantage of it themselves ; for I do 
not believe they had been so great for a hundred years 
before. But they had no patience to stay till the king had 
left Italy, before they fell to caballing. It is true they were 
engaged with us upon the Duke of Milan's account, for 
they are naturally Gibellines. However, that ought not to 
have led them to break their oaths, especially after they had 
been so civilly treated ; besides, the king had done more for 

* Guillnume de Villcneufve, knight, councillor and steward to King 
Charles VIII., has left an account of his master's wars in Italy, in which 
he states that, being left with forty men to guard Trani, thirty-two of 
his party were suborned by Don Frederic to deliver up the castle. 
Villcneufve was kept four months in the galleys; after which he was 
confined for eight months in the Castel Nuovo at Naples, and released 
on the 7th of August, 1496. 

f George de Sully. Lord of Ccrs and Romefort. 

% Claude de Lenoncourt, Lord of Harouel, and Bailiff" of Vitry from 
1483 to 1497. 

§ Gaiciu d'Agucrre, Lord c' Aubenton. 



186 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

them than tins ; for, under pretence of friendship, he carried 
prisoners with him the Lord Virgil Ursini and the Count de 
Petillane, and several others of the Ursini who were their 
enemies ; which, indeed, was a little severe, for, though they 
were prisoners of war, yet the king knew they were to 
have had passports. But his intention was to carry them no 
farther than Asti, and then to dismiss them upon their 
pnrole of honour. This he did at the request of the 
Colonne ; and yet, before he could get thither, the Colonne 
revolted, and appeared the first against him without the least 
pretence or occasion. 



Jb. IT. — How the King departed from Naples, and returned to Rome, 
from whence the Pope fled to Orvieto; of the Conference the King 
had with the Lord of Argenton upon his Return from Venice ; and 
his Deliberation about the Restitution of the Florentine Towns. — 1495. 

As soon as the king had settled his affairs as he designed, 
he began his march with what forces he could collect, 
which, I believe, were about nine hundred men-at arms ( in- 
cluding his guards), and two thousand five hundred Swiss ; 
in all, of his standing army about seven thousand men, 
besides about fifteen hundred more who followed the camp 
as servants, and were able to bear arms. The Count de 
Petillane, who had reviewed them, and knew their number 
better than I did, told me after the battle (of which I shall 
speak presently) that they were nine thousand effective 
men. The king bent his march directly towards Rome *, 
where his Holiness, having no mind to attend him, deter- 
mined to go to Padua, and put himself under the protection 
of the Venetians, and lodgings were prepared for him in 
that city ; but afterwards they changed their minds, and 
both they and the Duke of Milan sent forces to him to Rome 
for the defence of the town, which arrived in time enough ; 
yet the Pope durst not stay, though the king had done him 

* He left Naples on the 20th of May, 1495, and enterei Rome on the 
1st of June following. 



1495.] FLIGHT OF THE POPE TO OKVIETO. 187 

all imaginable honour and service, and had sent ambassadors 
on purpose to desire him to stay ; but he retired to Orvieto, 
and from thence to Perusia, leaving the cardinals to receive 
his majesty at Rome. The king was received very honour- 
ably by them ; but he made no stay among them, nor suffered 
the least injury to be done to anybody. From thence I was 
sent for to attend him at Siena*, where I waited on his 
majesty, who received me graciously. He asked me, in a 
jesting way, whether the Venetians had sent any forces to 
fall upon his rear ; for his men were all young, and he 
thought no troops were able to engage with them. I hum- 
bly replied that upon my leaving Venice the Signory in- 
formed me, in the presence of one of their secretaries called 
Loredano, that they and the Duke of Milan would bring 
forty thousand men into the field, not to molest him, but to 
defend themselves ; and on the day I set out from Venice 
they ordered one of their proveditors who was employed 
against us to inform me, at Padua, that their army should 
not pass a river near Parma (which, if I mistake not, is 
called the Oglio), unless his majesty invaded the Duke of 
Milan ; and the said proveditor and I took private tokens 
and directions how we might correspond with each other, if 
there should be any occasion, to make a treaty of peace ; for 
I was unwilling to refuse any overture of that nature, 
because I knew not how my master's affairs might succeed. 
There was present at our conference one Monsieur Lewis 
Marcel, who (as a kind of treasurer) had that year the com- 
mand of the Mots Vieref, and had been sent by them to 
escort me. There were besides in the company some of 
the Marquis of Mantua's servants, who were carrying him 
money ; but they were at a distance, and heard nothing of 
our discourse. From these or others I procured for the 
king a list of the confederate army, their horse, foot, and 
Stradiots, and the chief officers that commanded them all; 
but few about the king believed what I told him. 

After the king had halted two days at Siena to refresh his 

* The king reached Sienna on Saturday, the 13th of June, 1495. 

f It is so in all the French copies; but certainly it should be Mcnt 
Vied, in Italian Monte Vecchio, which is a certain treasure set apart by 
the Venetians for the payment of interest due to the ancient creditors it 
their republic, as appears by the book of Douato Gianotti. 



183 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP PE COMMINES. [1195. 

troops, I earnestly pressed his majesty to march onward, for 
the enemy were not yet together, and I feared nothing till 
the Germans came up ; for the King of the Romans was 
busily raising both men and money. But, notwithstanding 
all I siid to the contrary, the king would have two things 
first solemnly debated in council, which took up but a little 
time: one was, whether he should restore all the Floren- 
tine towns, and receive thirty thousand ducats (which was 
an arrear of a former gift), and seventy thousand more which 
they offered to lend him, besides a reinforcement of thr. e 
hundred men-at-arms (under the command of Francisco 
Secco, an experienced and brave commander, and one in 
whom the king put great confidence), and two thousand foot, 
to secure his passage into his own kingdom. It was my 
opinion (and several others agreed with me) that the king 
should restore all but Leghorn, which he should keep till he 
had reached Asti. If he had followed our advice, he would 
have been able to have paid his army, and have had enough 
to have bribed the enemy, and then he might have fought 
them as he pleased ; but we could not get a hearing ; Mon- 
sieur de Ligny prevented it (who was a young gentleman, 
and cousin-german to the king) ; but he scarce knew why he 
did so, unless it were in compassion to the Pisans. The other 
point to be debated was set on foot by Monsieur de Ligny 
himself, and proposed in council by one Gaucher de Tinte- 
ville *, and by a party in Siena who wished to have Mon- 
sieur de Ligny for their governor ; for that town is always 
divided into factions, and is governed the worst of any in 
Italy. My judgment was demanded first, and I answered 
that I thought it would be better for the king to march for- 
ward than to amuse himself with things of so litle import- 
ance, which could not be of any service to him for a week ; 
besides, that town belonged to the emperor, and to dispose 
of it in that manner was to set the whole empire against us. 
Everybody agreed with my opinion, and yet it was carried 
against us ; and Monsieur de Ligny was made the governor 
of Siena, with large promise of a revenue, but he never 
received any. This trifling debate detained us six or seven 
days, during which time the king diverted himself among 

* Gaucher dc Dinteville, Lord of CLcnets, and Bailiff of Troyes. 



I 493. J FR1AK JEROME OK FI,OKENCE. 189 

the ladies ; and he left in this town above three hundred of 
his choicest troops, to the great weakening of his army. He 
then advanced towards Pisa*, by the way of Poggibonzi, a 
castle belonging to the Florentines ; but those who were left 
at Siena were driven out in a month. 



Ch. III. —Of the memorable Preachings of Friar Jerome of Florence.— 

1495. 

I had almost forgotten to mention that while I was at Flo- 
rence, on my way to join the. king, I went to pay a visit to a 
certain friar called Friar Jerome |, who, by report, was a 
very holy man, and had lived in a reformed convent fifteen 
years. There went along with me. one John Francis J, a 
very prudent person, and steward of the king's household. 
The occasion of my going to visit him was upon the account 
that he had always, both in the pulpit and elsewhere, spoken 
much in the king's favour, and his words had kept the Flo- 

* He entered Pisa on Saturday, June 20. 1495. 

f Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican monk of Ferrara, arrived on 
foot at Florence in the year 1489, and lodged in the convent of St. 
Mark. He began immediately to preach there, from profound convic- 
tion on his own part, and with a talent equal to his energy, against the 
scandalous abuses which had been introduced into the Church of liome, 
and against the criminal usurpations in the State, which had deprived 
the citizens of their just rights. On the expulsion of Piero de' Medici, 
in 1494, he became the leader of the democratic party, which was for a 
time successful. Savonarola's influence was now very great; for he 
was looked upon by his party as a kind of prophet and supreme 
judge. But the opposition were not idle ; they represented him to 
the people as an impostor, and accused him of heresy at Rome. Pope 
Alexander VI. summoned him to appear before him, and, in default, 
excommunicated him. After a long contest, in the course of which 
Savonarola completely lost his credit with the populace, a party of 
his enemies entered the convent of St. Mark by force, and dragged him 
to prison. He was tried before a mixed lay and ecclesiastical commis- 
si >n appointed by Alexander VI., and condemned to death. On the 
23rd of May, 1498, he was burnt alive in the public square of Florence. 

\ Jean Francois de Cardonne, councillor and Chief Steward to King 
Charles VILL 



190 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

rentines from confederating against us; for never any preacher 
had so much authority in a city. Whatever had been said 
or written to the contrary, he always affirmed that our king 
would come into Italy, saying that he was sent by God to 
chastise the tyranny of the princes, and that none would be 
able to oppose him. He foret.uld likewise that he would come 
to Pisa and enter it, and that the State of Florence should be 
dissolved on that day. And so it fell out ; for Peter de Medicis 
was driven out that very day. Many other things he pre- 
saged long before they came to pass : as, for instance, the 
death of Laurence de Medicis ; and he openly declared that 
he knew it by revelation ; as likewise he predicted that the 
reformation of the Church should be owing to the sword. 
This is not yet accomplished ; but it very nearly occurred, and 
he still maintains that it shall come to pass. 

Many persons blamed him for pretending to receive 
divine revelations, but others believed him ; for my part I 
think him a good man. I asked him whether our king 
would return safe into France, considering the great pre- 
parations of the Venetians against him, of which he gave a 
better account than I could, though I had lately come from 
Venice. He told me he would meet with some difficulties 
by the way, but he would overcome them all with honour, 
though he had but a hundred men in his company ; for God, 
who had conducted him thither, would guard him back again. 
But because he had not applied himself as he ought to the 
reformation of the Church, and because he had permitted his 
soldiers to rob and plunder the poor people (as well those 
who had freely opened their gates to him as the enemy who 
had opposed him), therefore God had pronounced judgment 
against him, and in a short time he would receive chastise- 
ment. However, he bade me tell him that if he would have 
compassion upon the people, and command his army to do 
them no wrong, and punish them when they did, as it was 
his office to do, God would then mitigate, if not revoke, his 
sentence ; but that it would not be sufficient for him to 
plead that he did them no wrong himself, and that he would 
meet the king when he came, and tell him so from his own 
mouth ; and so he did, and pressed hard for the restitution 
of the Florentine towns. When he mentioned the sentence 



1495.] THE KING RETAINS PISA AND OTHER TOWNS. 191 

of God against him, the death of the dauphin * came very 
fresh into my mind; for I knew nothing else that could 
touch the king so sensibly. This 1 have thought fit to record, 
to make it the more manifest that this whole expedition was 
a mystery conducted by God Himself. 



Ch. IV. — How the King retained Pisa and several other Florentine 
Towns in his Hands, while the Duke of Orleans on the other Side en- 
tered Novara, in the Duchy of Milan. — 1495. 

"While the king (as I said before) was at Pisa, the people of 
that town, both men and women, begged of us that for God's 
sake we would intercede for them to the king, that they 
might not again be subjected to the tyranny of the Floren- 
tines, who, indeed, treated them very barbarously ; but they 
fared as well as their neighbours, who are subject to other 
States in Italy. Pisa and Florence had been at war for three 
hundred years before the Florentines subdued them. These 
supplications, being delivered with tears in their eves, 
wrought strangely upon our soldiers ; so that, forgetting what 
our king had promised and sworn before the altar of St. 
John in Florence, they all unanimously (including even the 
very archers and Swiss) interposed in their behalf, and 
threatened all such as wished that the king should keep his 
oath, and particularly the Cardinal of St. Malo f, who, in 
other places, I have called the General of Languedoc ; and 
him I heard an archer threaten myself, and others talked as 
boldly to the Marshal de Gie. The President Gannay, for 
three nights together, durst not lie in his own quarters ; and 
the great promoter of all this was the Count de Ligny. The 
Pisans daily made their sad complaints to the king, and 
moved us all to compassion, though we had no reason to re- 
lieve them. 

• Charles Orlando, born on the 10th of October, 1402, and lied on 
the 6th of December, 1495. 

| Elsewhere called the General Brissonct. 



192 THE MKMOIRS OK PHILIP DE COMMIXES [1495 

One day after dinner, as the king was playing at tables 
with the Lord de Piennes, and only two or three of the gen- 
tlemen of the bed-chamber waiting on him, forty or fifty 
armed gentlemen of his household entered the room, and, in 
the name of the rest, the son of Salh-zard the elder * made a 
speech to the king in favour of the Pisans, and charged some 
of the persons above named of nothing less than betraying 
him ; but the king reprimanded them severely, and there 
never was any such thing afterwards. 

Six or seven days the king spent to no purpose at Pisa ; 
and, having altered the garrison, he put into the castle one 
Entragues f, a servant to the Duke of Orleans, but an ill* 
conditioned man. Monsieur de Ligny had recommended him 
to the king, and by his interest a detachment of infantry from 
Berry was left with him. This Entragues managed his 
affairs so well (I suppose by means of his money), that he 
got Pietrasanta into his hands, and another town not far off, 
called Mortano ; besides which, he had another government 
at Librefacto, near Lucca. The castle of the town of Sarzana, 
which was extremely well fortified by the interest of Monsieur 
de Ligny, was put in the hands of the bastard of Roussi J, who 
was the Count's servant. Another castle, called Sarzanello, 
he put into the hands of one of his other servants ; and the 
king left great bodies of his forces in these places (though 
he will never have so much need of them again), and re- 
jected the assistance and offers of the Florentines, who, upon 
his refusal, grew desperate. And yet, before he left Siena, 
lie had intelligence that the Duke of Orleans had taken the 
city of Novara § from the Duke of Milan ; and it was there- 
fore certain that the Venetians would declare war against 
him ; for they had sent him word that if he invaded the 
Duke of Milan, they should be obliged, by the alliance they 
had lately made, to assist him ; and their army, which wa8 
numerous, was quite ready to take the field. 

Now you must understand, that just upon the conclusion 

• Louis de Salazar, Lord of Asnoi. 

f Robert de Balsac, Lord of Entragues. 

j Antoine de Luxembourg, Bastard of Brienne, son of Antoine de 
Luxembourg, Count of Roussy, and nephew of the Count de Ligny. 

§ Novara opened its gates to the Luke of Orleans on the 1 ub. of 
June, 1 195. 



l-*9o.] THE DUKE OF ORLEANS ENTERS NOVARA. 193 

of the league, the Duke of Milan had a design upon Asti, 
supposing he should have found no troops in it. But my 
letters prevented him, and hastened the supplies which the 
Duke of Bourbon sent thither; and first there arrived forty 
lances of the Marshal de Gie's troops, who had been left 
behind in France, all very well appointed ; and after them 
five hundred foot from the Marquis di Saluzzo. The arrival 
of these forces diverted the Duke of Milan's army, com- 
manded by Galeas di St. Severino, who was posted at 
Annone, a castle belonging to the said duke, within two miles 
of Asti. Some time after they were joined by three hundred 
and fifty men-at-arms, and gentlemen of Dauphiny, and all 
the Frank-Archers of that country, and about two thousand 
Swiss ; so that they were in all fully seven thousand five 
hundred fighting men. It was a prodigious expense and 
trouble to assemble these forces, and when that was done, 
they did not answer the end for which they were designed -• 
for they were sent for to have assisted the king, and instead 
of that he was forced to support them. The king had writ- 
ten to the Duke of Orleans and his chief officers that they 
should attempt nothing against the Duke of Milan, but only 
have a care to secure Asti, and come to meet his majesty as 
far as the river Tesino, where they were to assist and favour 
his passage, there being no other river where he could be 
stopped ; for the Duke of Orleans had been left at Asti, and 
had gone no further with the king. However, notwith- 
standing the king's orders to the contrary, he was so pleased 
with the honour of having Novara delivered into his hands 
(which was but ten leagues from Milan) that he could not 
contain himself, but entered it in a triumphal manner ; and 
the whole city, both Guelphs and Gibellines, received him 
with all imaginable demonstrations of joy; and the Mar- 
chioness of Montferrat was a great instrument in carrying 
out the plot. The castle held out two or three days ; but if 
in the meanwhile he had gone or sent to Milan, where his 
party was strong, he would have been received with more 
joy (as I have been told by many great persons of that 
duchy) than ever greeted him at his own castle at Blois ; and 
during the first three days he might have done it with ease,, 
for the Duke of Milan's forces were at Annone, near Asti, 

VOL. II. O 



194 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP T>E COMMINES. "1 496. 

when Novara was surprised, and came not up till four days 
after ; but perhaps he durst not rely upon the information 
he received. 



Ch. V. — How King Charles crossed several dangerous Passages over the 
Mountains between Pisa and Sarzana; and how the Germans burned 
Pontremoli. — 1495. 

From Siena the king was come to Pisa, as you have already 
heard, and from Pisa he marched to Lucca, where he was 
well received by the townsfolk, and stayed with them two 
days ; and from thence he went to Pietrasanta, where Mon- 
sieur Entragues was governor ; and neither he himself, nor 
any that were about him, had the least fear or apprehension 
of the enemy. Yet he found great difficulty in his march 
over the mountains betwixt Lucca and that place, where 
there were several passes very easy to have been defended 
by small bodies of foot ; but the confederates were not assem- 
bled as yet. Not far from Pietrasanta, on one side there is 
the pass of Seierre, or Salto della Cerva, and on the other 
that of Roctaille, or Rotaio, with a deep marsh at the foot 
of it, over which we were forced to march upon a causeway, 
as if it had been through a standing pool. This was the 
pass of which I had heard so much, and which I dreaded more 
than all the rest between Pisa and Pontremoli ; for a small 
body of troops, with a cart overturned in the midst of it, and 
two pieces of cannon, would have stopped our passage, and 
left our army helpless. From Pietrasanta the king marched 
to Sarzana, where the Cardinal of St. Peter ad Vincula met 
him, and offered (if he pleased to send some of his forces 
tliither) to make Genoa revolt to him. This proposal was 
referred to a council of officers, of whom I was one, and it 
was concluded by all that it should not be attempted ; for if 
the king got the victory, Genoa would surrender of course ; 
and if he lost the battle, it would do him no good ; and this 
was the first time we ever heard fighting mentioned. Our 
resolution was reported to the king ; but for all that, he sent 



1495.] UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT ON GENOA. 195 

thither the Lord de Bresse (since Duke of Savoy), the Lord 
de Beaumont de Polignac*, ray brother-in-law, and the Lord 
d'Aubijouxf, of the house of Araboise, with six-score men 
at-arms, and five hundred archers, newly sent him by sea 
out of France. I wondered that a prince of his age should 
not have one minister of state about him that durst be plain 
with him, and tell him the dangers to which he exposed hia 
person ; but indeed he put no confidence in what I said. 

We had a few forces at sea, which came from Naples, 
under the command of Monsieur de Miolans, Governor of 
Dauphiny, and one Stephen de Neves, of Montpelier ; they 
were in all about eight galleys, and were arrived at Spezzia and 
Rapalo, where they were defeated at the time I speak of, and in 
the same place where our men had beaten King Alphonso's 
forces in the beginning of this expedition, and by the same 
party who had been on our side at that battle (that is to say, 
Signor John Lewis di Fieschi, and Signor John Adorno); and 
everything was changed in Genoa. It had been better manage- 
ment to have had them on the king's side, though that would 
have been little enough. Monsieur de Bresse and the Cardinal 
advanced into the suburbs of Genoa, expecting their party 
in the town would rise in their favour; but the Duke of Milan 
had taken care to prevent any insurrection ; and the Adorni 
and Signor John Lewis di Fieschi had given such orders 
about the affair that our forces were in great danger of being 
handled as they had been at sea, considering the smallness 
of their numbers; nor did anything prevent it but the fear 
the prevailing party in Genoa had, that if they sallied out of 
the town, the Fregosi would rise up in arms and shut the 
gates upon them ; however, our men met with difficulty 
enough before they got to Asti ; and they were not at the 
battle, where they might have been more serviceable and 
better employed. 

From Sarzana the king marched on towards Pontremoli, 
which he was forced to pass, it being the entrance into the 

• John de Polignac, Lord of Beaumont and Randan. He married 
Jeanne de Chambes, eldest sister of Helene de Charabes, wife of Philip 
de Commines. 

f Hugh d'Amboise, Baron of Aubijoux, brother to the famous Car- 
dinal George d'Amboise. He was killed iu the battle of JUuriguan, ia 
1515. 



196 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

niountaics. The town and castle were strong, and the country 
about them almost inaccessible; and had they been wel. 
garrisoned, they could never have been taken ; but it seemed 
as if what Friar Jerome told me proved true, that God would 
lead him, as it were, by the hand, till he was out of all danger ; 
for the enemy were blind and stupid, and had not put above 
three or four hundred men to defend that important pass. 
The king sent his vanguard to Pontremoli, under the com- 
mand of the Marshal de Gie and Signor John James di Tri- 
vulce, whom he had entertained in his service ever since 
King Ferrand's flight out of Naples. This Trivulce was a 
gentleman of Milan, of a noble family, a good officer, a 
worthy man, and a great enemy to the Duke of Milan, for 
he had been banished by him ; and by his means the place 
was presently delivered without an assault, and the garrison 
marched out. But a great inconvenience ensued upon this ; 
for, as I have already mentioned, when the Duke of Milan 
was there last, there happened a dispute between the towns- 
men and some of the Germans (forty of whom were slain by 
the townsmen), so that the Swiss, in revenge, and contrary 
to their articles, now put all the men to the sword, plundered 
the town, set fire to it, and burned it and all the magazines, 
with about ten of their own men, who, being drunk, could 
not escape, and it w r as not in the Marshal de Gie's power to 
prevent it. After they had committed this outrage, they 
besieged the castle, in order to have used those who were in 
it after the same manner, though the garrison consisted of 
none but Signor John James di Trivulce's troops, who had 
been put into it when the enemy marched out ; neither would 
they give over their attack till the king himself sent to com- 
mand them to desist. The destruction of this place was a 
great inconvenience to the king, as much for the dishonour 
it brought on us as for the provisions that were spoiled, of 
which there was great plenty, and we were in extremity of 
want, though the people were not much against us, excepting 
only those about the town, who had suffered more particu- 
larly. But if the king had hearkened to the overtures made 
him by Signor John James di Trivulce, several places and 
persons of importance would have surrendered and allied 
themselves to him; for he advised him to set up the young 
4uke's standard, who was son of John Galeas, the last 



149-5.] THE DUKE OF ORLEANS AT NOVARA. 19? 

Duke of Milan, that lies buried at Pavia, as you have heard ; 
which young duke was in the Lord Ludovic's power. 
But the king would not be persuaded to do it, out of kind- 
ness to the Duke of Orleans, who laid claim to the duchy. 
After this the king marched from Pontremoli, and encamped 
iii a small valley, where there were not ten houses, and the 
name of which I have forgotten. He lay in that camp five 
days (I know not why), with his army in great distress for 
provisions, and the main body thirty miles behind the van- 
guard, with high and steep rocks all around, where such great, 
cannon had never been seen till then ; for those with which 
Duke Galeas had passed that way were but four falconets, 
which perhaps weighed five hundred pounds a-piece, and yet 
the people regarded them with infinite wonder. 



Ch. VL — How the Duke of Orleans behaved himself in the City of 

Novara. — 1495. 

But to return now to the Duke of Orleans. As soon as he 
had taken the Castle of Novara, he lay still for some days, 
and then marched to Vigevano. Two little towns * hard 
by sent to him and offered to receive his troops ; but he 
wisely refused the overtures they made him. The citizens 
of Pavia sent twice to him likewise, and certainly he was 
mightily to blame in refusing their offer. However, he 
drew up in battle array before the town of Vigevano, where 
the Duke of Milan's whole army was encamped, and com- 
manded by the sons of Galeas St. Severino, whom I have so 
often mentioned before. The town is worth nothing, not a 
jot better than St. Martin de Cande. f I came thither not 
long after the Duke of Milan had been there, and the chief 
officers who were there showed me the places where their 
armies had been drawn up, both within and without the 
town ; and if the Duke of Orleans had advanced but a 

• Mortara and Correano. — Guazzo, 160. 
•f Candcs, a small town in the Department of Indre-et-Loire. 

C 8 



198 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMUTES. [1495. 

hundred paces farther, the enemy must have retreated over 
the river Tesino, where they had made a large bridge of boats, 
and were drawn up on the bank ; and I saw them demolish 
an earthwork which they had made on the other side to se- 
cure their retreat ; for they had resolved to quit both the 
town and the castle, which would have been a great disad- 
vantage to them. This is the place where the Duke of 
Milan generally resides, and indeed it is the best seat for 
hunting and hawking, and all kinds of sports, that I ever 
yet saw. 

But perhaps the Duke of Orleans thought the town 
stronger than it really was, and that he had done enough 
already, without attempting anything farther; and therefore 
he marched off to a place called Trecate, the lord of which 
place had a conference with me not long after, and had some- 
thing in charge from the Duke of Milan. To this town of 
Trecate the chief citizens of Milan sent to invite the Duke 
thither, and tempt him into their town, offering their 
children as hostages ; and they could easily have put him 
into possession of it, as I have been credibly informed since 
by persons of great authority who were there at that time ; 
for the Duke of Milan would not have found men enough to 
have defended the castle, and the nobility and commons both 
desired the destruction of the house of Sforza. The Duke 
of Orleans also, and his men, have told me the same, but 
they durst not trust the citizens ; and they wanted a person 
that understood them and their ways better than they did ; 
besides, his great officers were not all of the same opinion 
in relation to that affair. 

A body of two thousand Germans sent by the King of the 
Romans, and about a thousand German horse under the com-, 
mand of Monsieur Frederic Capelare, a native of the county 
of Ferrette, now joined the Duke of Milan's army. With 
this reinforcement Galeas and the rest of the officers were so 
mightily encouraged that they marched directly to Trecate, 
and offered the Duke of Orleans battle ; but he was advised 
not to fight, though his army was more numerous than 
theirs. Perhaps his officers were unwilling to hazard their 
army, lest the loss of a battle should be the ruin of the 
kin£, of whom they could get no intelligence, because the 
couriers were all stopped. Upon this the Duke of Orleans 



1495.] THE KING PASSES THE APENNINES. 199 

retreated with his whole army to Novara, having with great 
indiscretion neglected the favourable opportunity of sup- 
plying the town with provisions, or preserving as they ought 
what was already in their magazines, though they might 
have got enough at that time in the country round about 
without money ; but when they wanted it afterwards, the 
enemy was within half a league of the town. 



Ch. VII. — How the King passed the Apennine Mountains with his 
Train of Artillery, by the Assistance of the Swiss; and of the great 
Danger to which the Marshal de Gie and his whole Vanguard were 
exposed. — 1495. 

We left the king encamped in a valley on this side Pon- 
tremoli, in great want of provisions, and yet he stayed there 
five days without any manner of necessity for doing so. Our 
Swiss, who had committed the great fault at Pontremoli*, 
did us a singular piece of service at this time ; they were 
fearful their crime would give the king a displeasure against 
them, and that his majesty would never endure them more ; 
and therefore, to atone for what was past, they came to him 
of themselves, and offered to convey his great guns over 
those almost impassable mountains (and well I may call 
them so, for their height and steepness), where there was no 
track or path to direct them. I have seen most of the chief 
mountains both in Italy and Spain, but none of them are to 
be compared to these ; and this offer the Swiss made upon con- 
dition the king would forgive them, which he did. Our 
train consisted of fourteen extraordinary great guns. At 
the farther end of the valley we began to climb up a very 
steep path, where our mules could scarce get up ; but these 
Swiss corded themselves two and two abreast, and drew a 
hundred and sometimes two hundred in a company, till they 
were weary, and then they were relieved by as many more ; 
besides these, there were the horses belonging to the artil- 
lery, and every one of the courtiers who had any carriage, 

* Sec Chapter V., p. 196 
O 4 



200 THE MEMOIRS OF PniLIP DE COMMINES. [149& 

lent a horse to hasten their passage ; but had it not been 
for these Swiss, the horses would never have done it ; and 
to speak truth, they helped over not only the artillery, but the 
whole army ; for had it not been for them, not a man could 
have passed the mountains ; wherefore they were well as- 
sisted ; and besides, they had as great a desire to be over as 
the rest of the army ; they had committed many faults, but 
this good action did more than sufficiently atone for all. 
However, the greatest part of the difficulty was not to get 
the artillery up ; for as soon as our men were at the top, they 
saw great deep valleys below them, to which there was no 
way but what nature had prepared ; so that our horses and 
men were forced to draw backward, and the letting the guns 
down was infinitely more trouble than the hauling them 
up ; and besides, the smiths and the carpenters were forced 
to be constantly by ; for if any of the guns slipped, they had 
to be mended before they could go on. Many advised the 
king, for expedition's sake, to break up his great guns, but 
he would by no means consent to it. 

The Marshal de Gie was thirty miles before us, and 
pressed the king to hasten his march ; and yet it was three 
days before we could reach 1dm, and by that time the enemy 
was come within sight. Their army was encamped in a 
large field about half a league from him ; and if they had 
attacked him, he would certainly have been defeated. The 
marshal afterward took up his quarters at Fornovo, a strong 
town at the entrance into the plain, and this he did to keep 
the enemy from assaulting us on the mountains ; but we had 
a better guardian than he to protect us, for God put other 
thoughts into the heads of our enemies, and so blinded their 
understandings with avarice that th«y were resolved to wait 
for our coming into the plain, that nothing might escape 
them; for they thought if they should attack us upon the 
mountains we might retreat to Pisa, or some of the towns 
we had in the territory of Florence ; but they were mis- 
taken, for those places were too remote ; and if they had 
beaten us, they might have pursued as fast as we could 
have fled, and they would have had the advantage of know- 
ing the country better than we. 

Thus far on our side the war was not begun ; but the 
Marshal de Gie sent the king word that he had passed the 



1495.] SKIRMISHES WITH THE ESTRADIOTS. 201 

mountains, and that having sent out a party of forty horse to 
reconnoitre the enemy, they had been charged by the Estra- 
diots, and one of them (called Lebeuf) being slain, the Estra- 
diots cut otf his head, put it upon the top of a lance, carried it 
to their proveditor, and demanded a ducat. These Estradiots 
are of the same nature with the Genetaires * ; they are horse 
and foot, and habited like Turks, only they wear no turbans 
upon their heads. They are hardy people, and lie abroad 
all the year round with their horses ; they were all Greeks, 
from the places which the Venetians possess in those parts, 
some of them from Naples andliomagna and the Morea, others 
from Albania and Durazzo. Their horses are all Turkish, 
and very good ; the Venetians employ them often in their 
wars, and put great confidence in them. I saw them all upon 
their first landing at Venice, and they mustered in the island 
where the abbey of St. Nicholas is built, and their number 
was near fifteen hundred; they are stout, active fellows, and 
will plague an army terribly when they once undertake it. 

These Estradiots, as I said before, having beaten our 
party, pursued them to the marshal's quarters, where the 
Swiss were posted, of whom they killed three or four, and 
carried away their heads according to their custom. For 
the Venetians, having been at war against the Turks for- 
merly, in the time of Mahomet, the present Turk's father, 
Sultan Mahomet would not suffer his soldiers to give quarter, 
but allowed them a ducat for every head, and the Venetians 
did the same. My opinion is they did it on purpose to 
terrify us, and indeed so they did ; but the Estradiots them- 
selves were no less affrighted with our artillery ; for a shot 
from a falconet having killed one of their horses, they retired 
with great precipitation ; but in their retreat they took one 
of our Swiss captains, who had gotten on horseback to watch 
their retreat, and, being unarmed, was run through the body 
with a lance. This captain was a wise man, and they car- 
ried him before the Marquis of Mantua (who was captain- 
general for the Venetians) and his uncle, the Lord Rodolph 
of Mantua, and the Count di Cajazzo, who commanded for 
the Duke of Milan, and who knew him extremely well. 

• Spanish light horse, so coiled from the jennets which they rode.— 
6ee BttANiuHE, i. 213. 



202 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE fiOTVfMlXES. [1495. 

The enemy's army had taken the field (at least all of them 
that were joined, for some were still to come up) about 
eight days before, but lay still in expectation of their con- 
federates ; so that the king might have gone back into 
France without any impediment in the world, had he not 
squandered away his time to no purpose by the way, as you 
have heard ; but God had ordered it otherwise. 



Ch. VIII. — How the Marshal de Gie withdrew with his Army to the 
Mountains, and waited until the King came up to him. — 1495. 

The Marshal de Gie, fearing to be attacked, retired to the 
mountains. He had with him (as he told me) about eight 
score men-at-arms, and eight hundred Swiss, and no more, 
and from us he could not expect any assistance ; for, by 
reason of our heavy cannon, we could not join him in less 
than a day and a half. The king, in his march, lay at the 
houses of two little marquises. Our vanguard, being posted 
upon the mountain, was awaiting an attack by the enemy, 
whom they saw drawn up in order of battle at a good dis- 
tance in the plain ; but God (who had always preserved our 
army) infatuated our adversaries' understanding. Our Swiss 
captain, being examined by the Count di Cajazzo, who com- 
manded their army, and was then in their van, was asked 
what number of men-at-arms were with the marshal, though 
the count knew our strength as well as we did ourselves, for 
he had been with us during the whole campaign. 

The Swiss magnified our forces, represented us to be 
much stronger than we were, and said the marshal had with 
him three hundred men-at-arms and fifteen hundred Swiss. 
The count told him plainly that he lied, for in the whole 
army we had not above three thousand Swiss, and it was 
improbable we would send half of them in our van ; upon 
which the captain was sent prisoner to the Marquis of 
Mantua'9 tent, where a council of war was called, in order 
to consult how to attack us. The marquis believed what 
the Swiss captain had said, and urged that their infantry 



1495.] PREPARATIONS FOR BATTLE. 203 

were not so good as the Swiss; that all their forces had not 
joined them ; that it would be a great injury to the allies to 
engage without them ; and that, if they should lose the battle, 
the Signory would have just reason to blame their conduct; 
that it would be better, therefore, to wait for our coming 
into the plain, where we must pass in front of them ; and 
the two proveditors being of the same opinion, the rest 
durst not oppose. Others affirmed, that if they routed our 
vanguard, the King must of necessity be taken prisoner; 
but, for all that, it was concluded to await us in the plain, 
and they confidently believed that none of us could escape. 
This I have been informed of since by the very persons 
whom I have mentioned; for, afterwards, we discoursed 
together, and the Marshal de Gie and I had this relation 
from their own mouths. Upon this they retired into the 
plain, being assured that within a day or two the king must 
of necessity come to Fornovo; and in the meantime tha 
rest of the confederate forces arrived in their camp, and the 
way was so narrow we were obliged to inarch close by 
them. 

Upon our descending from the mountains, we had a pro- 
spect of the plain of Lombardy, which is the pleasantest and 
Lest country in the world, and most plentiful in everything; 
yet, though I call it a plain, it is scarce passable for horses, 
tor it is as full of ditches as Flanders, or rather more, but 
much better, and more fruitful both in corn, wine, and 
fruit; and their ground never lies fallow. It pleased us 
exceedingly to see so fine a country after the famine and 
hardships which we had suffered since our departure from 
Lucca ; but our train of artillery gave us great trouble, es- 
pecially to let down, so steep and difficult was the pass. In 
the enemy's camp there were great numbers of tents and 
pavilions, which made it look very large, and indeed so it 
was. The Venetians made good their message by me to the 
king, when they promised that the Duke of Milan and they 
would bring forty thousand men into the field ; and if they 
had not their full number, they wanted not much of it, for 
they were five and thirty thousand effective men, and of 
them four-fifths were in the Venetian pay. They had at 
least two thousand six hundred men-at-arms barded, every 
one attended by his bowman on horseback, or some other 



204 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495 

person in livery, making four horses to every man-at-arms. 
Their Estradiots and other light horse were about five 
thousand, and the rest were infantry, encamped in a very 
strong position, and furnished with a large train of artillery. 



Ch. TX. — How the King and his small Army arrived at Fornovo, near 
the Camp of his Enemies, who awaited him in very fine Order, and 
with a Determination to defeat and capture him. — 1495. 

The king descended from the mountains about noon, and 
took up his quarters in Fornovo on the 5th of July, being 
Sunday, in the year 1495. We found good store of pro- 
vision in the town both for our horses and ourselves. The 
people received us very kindly, for nobody did them the 
least injury; they brought us victuals and bread, but their 
bread was small and black, and they sold it very dear, and 
their wine was three parts water ; they brought us likewise 
some of their fruits, and were exceedingly diligent in at- 
tending our army. I ordered them to bring me a little of 
everything, which I had tested in my presence; for we had 
great suspicion that this plenty of provisions had been left 
there on purpose to poison us, so that at first nobody touched 
them ; and our suspicion was much increased by the death of 
two of our Swiss, who were found dead in a cellar, having 
killed themselves with excessive drinking, or else died of 
cold in the cellar ; but before night our horses began to eat, 
and at last the soldiers followed their example, and we re- 
freshed ourselves very well. I must say this in honour of 
the Italians, that we never found that they endeavoured to 
do us any mischief by poison ; if they had, we could hardly 
have secured ourselves in this march. On the Sunday (as 
I said before) we arrived about noon at Fornovo ; most of 
our people of quality ate nothing but a crust of bread at the 
place where the king alighted and drank ; and, indeed, at 
that time there was little else to be got ; for the provision* 
that were in the town nobody durst venture to taste. 



1495. J THE KING AND niS ARMY AT TOKNOVO. 205 

Presently after this refreshment, the Estradiols sallied 
out of their camp, and dashing up to our very army, gave 
us a strong alarm. Our men, being unacquainted with their 
way of fighting, drew out into the field, and put themselves 
into order of battle, with a van, main body, and rear so ex- 
actly well distanced that they were not a bowl's cast one 
from another, so that upon any disaster they might easily 
have supported each other ; but no action happened at that 
time, and both parties retired to their camps. Our tents 
were but few, and our camp extended so near to theirs that 
twenty of their Estradiots were enough to give us an alarm at 
any time ; wherefore they lay constantly in our front, having 
the benefit of a wood, through which they might march 
close up to us before they were discovered. We lay betwixt 
two little hills in a valley, divided by a small river called 
Tarrcfc which is usually fordable on foot, unless it is swelled 
by the waters from the mountains, which fall very suddenly, 
and are as suddenly gone. The valley in which we lay 
encamped, being full of gravel and great stones, was very 
incommodious for our cavalry; it was about a quarter of a 
league in width ; and upon the hill on our right hand, within 
half a league of us, the enemy were posted, so that we were 
obliged to pass in sight of their whole army, with only that 
river between us. On that side on which we were quartered, 
beyond the hill on the left hand, there was another road 
which we might have taken ; but then we should have 
seemed to have been afraid of them. About two days before, 
it was proposed to me by some prudent persons in our army, 
who now began to be apprehensive of their danger, that I 
should go and desire a parley with the enemy, and should 
take another along with me, to observe their numbers and 
the situation of their camp. I had no great inclination to 
undertake this duty (and without a safe-conduct there was 
no going at all) ; wherefore I told them that, at my de- 
parture from Venice, and at Padua, I had taken my leave 
very kindly of the proveditors, and that we had promised cor- 
respondence upon occasion, and therefore I did not question 
but upon any overture of a treaty they would meet me half 
way; whereas, if I should condescend to go to them, it 
would but make them the more arrogant; besides, I feared 
it was too late. 



206 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMNES. [1495. 

The same Sunday I wrote to the proveditors (one of them 
was called Luca Pisani, and the other Melchior Trivisano), 
desiring: that, according to the agreement between ourselves 
at my departure from Padua, they would send me a passport, 
in order that I might have a conference with them. They 
sent me word they would have done it with all their hearts, 
had we not begun a war against the Duke of Milan ; how- 
ever, one of them (as they should agree) would meet me in 
some place midway between the two armies. I had their 
answer the same night, but none of those who had influence 
with the king attached any importance to it. I was fearful 
of going too far, lest they should have interpreted it as 
cowardice ; so that I pressed it no farther that night, though 
I would willingly have done anything to have delivered the 
king and his army out of danger, had I been able. 

About midnight the Cardinal of St. Malo left the king ; 
and his tent being near mine, he came to me, and told me 
that the king would march the next morning, and that he 
was resolved to pass by them, and when he began to march, 
that he would fire some of his great guns into their army by 
way of defiance, and then march on in as good order as he 
could. I am of opinion this was the Cardinal's own advice, 
for he was ignorant in such cases, and knew not what 
counsel to give; and it had been much more prudent in the 
king to have called a council of his officers and all the 
grave men about him, to have consulted what measures it 
would be proper to take in that exigence of affairs ; but the 
result would have been the same, for in this very march I 
had seen many things concerted in council with very great 
prudence, but mannged quite contrary when they came to 
be executed. I told the Cardinal that if we came so near as 
to fire into their camp, they would certainly come out and 
skirmish with us, and that then it would be impossible to avoid 
a general battle ; besides, it did not consist with the overture 
I had made, so that I was extremely concerned to hear the 
resolution the king had taken. However, such had been 
my condition from the beginning of this king's reign, that I 
durst not object, for fear I should disoblige his favourites, 
and make them my enemies ; for they had, indeed, greater 
authority with him than they ought to have had. 

That night we had two great alarms, and all through our 



1495.] ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE EATTT.E OF FORNOVO. 207 

own negligence, in not having taken the same precautions 
to secure ourselves against the incursions of the Estradiots, 
as we used to do against the light horse ; for twenty of our 
men-at-arms, with their archers, would easily have stopped 
two hundred of them ; but they were new to us then. We 
had great rains that night also, and such claps of thundef 
and lightning, as if heaven and earth were coming together, 
or that this was an omen of some impending mischief. But 
we were at the foot of great mountains, in a hot country, 
and in the height of the summer, so that the thing was 
natural enough ; however, it was very terrible, and our con- 
sternation was increased by our enemies being so numerous 
before us, and our having no possibility to pass without 
fighting them, which must be done to our great disadvan- 
tage ; for our army was but small, not amounting to above 
nine thousand men in the whole ; and of these, I believe, 
two thousand were servants, and such as followed the camp, 
without reckoning pages and footmen belonging to the 
officers. 



Ch. X. — The Arrangement of the two Armies for the Battle of For- 

novo. — 1495. 

On Monday morning, the 6th of July, in the year 1495, by 
seven o'clock, the noble king mounted on horseback, and 
called for me several times : I came to him, and found him 
completely armed, and mounted upon the best horse I ever 
saw in my life. The horse was called Savoy, of the Bressian 
breed, and had been given him, according to common report, 
by Charles, Duke of Savoy. It was a black horse, with but 
one eye, of no extraordinary stature, but tall enough for him 
that was to ride him. This young prince seemed that day 
quite another person than what one would take him to have 
been by his nature, proportion, and complexion. He was 
exceeding bashful, especially in speaking, and is so to this 
day ; and no wonder, for he had been brought up in great 
Swe, and in » he company of inferior people ; but now, being 



208 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINE3. [1495. 

mounted on his horse, his eyes sparkled with fire, his com- 
plexion was fresh and lively, and all his words showed 
wisdom and discretion, — so that I could not hut believe the 
predictions of Friar Jerome (and I thought of them at that 
time) when he told me that God would conduct him, as it 
were, by the hand, and that he should meet with some diffi- 
culties in his return to his own dominions, but that he should 
overcome them all, and gain immortal honour by it. The 
king told me that if those people wished to treat, I might 
go treat with them ; and the Cardinal being by, he nominated 
him to go along with me, and also the Marshal de Gie, who 
at that time was in a violent passion, occasioned by a dispute 
between the Counts of Narbonne and Guise, both of whom 
pretended to the command of the van that day. I replied, 
" Sire, I shall observe your commands ; but I never saw two 
great armies so near without fighting before they parted." 

Our whole army marched out of their camp in good order, 
the battalions being near one another, as on the day before ; 
but yet methought they did not make so fine an appearance 
as those I had formerly seen under Charles, Duke of Bur- 
gundy, and our king's father Louis XL, nor indeed were 
they half so numerous. The Cardinal and I withdrew a 
little, and dictated a letter to the two proveditors, which was 
written by one Monsieur Robertet *, one of the king's secre- 
taries, in whom he had great confidence. The substance of 
the letter was, that it was the Cardinal's duty, by virtue of 
his quality and function, to procure peace, if it lay in his 
power, and mine also, as I had been ambassador lately at 
Venice ; wherefore it would not be improper for me to be a 
mediator now. We signified to them that the king's resolu- 
tion was only to march through the country in his way to 
France, without committing any hostilities ; and therefore, 
if they desired a conference, as was proposed the day before, 
we were ready to meet them, and would employ all our in- 
terest to accommodate matters. By this time the fight was 
begun, and there was skirmishing on all sides. As we were 
marching on slowly, with the river between us, we came 
within a quarter of a league one of the other, they being also 

* Florimont "Robertet, a native of Montbrison, was Secretary of State 
ttnder Kings Charles VIII., Louis XII., aid Francis L 



1495.] BATTLE OF FORNOVO. 209 

drawn up in order of battle ; for it is their custom to make 
their camp so large, that they can put themselves into bat- 
tle array within it. 

They sent out a party of their Estradiots and mounted 
bowmen, and some few men-at-arms, who marched directly, 
by private roads, to the village of Fornovo, which we had 
just left, with a design to pass the little river Tarro in that 
place, and fall upon our baggage-train, which was very nu- 
merous (in all, I believe, besides waggons, about six thousand 
sumpter-horses, muies, and asses). Their army was drawn 
up in as good order as possible, and had been so for several 
days before ; and they relied much upon the superiority of 
their forces. They attacked the king's army on every side ; 
so that, if we had been beaten, not a man of us could have 
escaped, considering the country we were in, and that those 
whom I mentioned before had fallen upon our baggage. On 
the left hand, there were the Marquis of Mantua and his 
uncle, the Lord Rodolph, with the Count Bernardino di Mon- 
tone *, and the flower of their army, consisting of six 
hundred men-at-arms, as they told me afterwards ; and these 
charged our rear. All the men-at-arms were well barded, 
with fine plumes of feathers, and bourdonnasses f ; and with 
their cross-bow men on horseback, their Estradiots, and their 
infantry to support them. Against the Marshal de Gie and 
our vanguard, the Count di Cajazzo advanced with about 
four hundred men-at-arms well accoutred, and supported 
also by a good body of foot. There was also another brigade 
of about two hundred men-at-arms, commanded by the son J 
of Signor John Bentivoglio, of Bologna, a young gentleman 
who had never been in battle before ; and, to speak tlie truth, 
they wanted good officers as much as we did. These were to 
second the Count di Cajazzo, and fall upon our van ; and 
there was also another squadron, in the nature of a reserve 
to the Marquis of Mantua's brigade, which was commanded 
by Anthony d'Urbino, a bastard of the late Duke of Urbino; 

• Bernardino de Montone, a Venetian condottiere, and grandson of 
the celebrated Braccio de Montone. 

f Bourdonnasses were hollow Iannis, curiously painted, and nsed in 
Italy by the men-at-arms, in tournaments. 

% Annibale de Bentivoglio, who had been created Gonfalonier of 
Justice on the 1st of November, 1489. 

vol. n. p 



210 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

and, besides all these, there were two great bodies left in their 
camp. This I understood afterwards from themselves, and 
the next day I saw it with my own eyes ; for the Venetians 
would not venture all at one stake, nor leave their baggage 
unguarded; yet, in my judgment, they had done better to 
have put all to a push, since they were so far engaged. 

I shall now acquaint you with what became of the letter 
which the Cardinal and I had sent by a trumpeter. It was 
received by the proveditors, and as soon as they had read it, 
our great guns began to fire, and they immediately answered 
us ; but their artillery was not so good as ours.* The pro- 
veditors sent the trumpeter back, and the marquis sent 
another of his own with this message, that they would wil- 
lingly treat, and if we would give over cannonading, they 
would do so too. I was then at a distance from the king, 
who was riding up and down from rank to rank : so 1 sent 
back the trumpeters to say, that our cannon should cease 
firing; and having given orders to that purpose to the mas- 
ter of the artillery, both sides ceased for a time ; but on a 
sudden they fired a gun amongst us, and ours began to play 
more fiercely than before, with three fresh pieces which 
we had levelled against them. As soon as our two trum- 
peters were arrived in their camp, they were carried to the 
marquis's tent, where it was solemnly debated whether they 
should treat or engage. The Count di Cajazzo (as they 
told me, who were present) urged that we were half van- 
quished already, and that this was no time for a treaty ; 
and one of the proveditors (who told me the story) was ot 

* " The French," says Mr. Prescott, " in artillery, were at this time 
in advance of the Italians, perhaps of every nation in Europe. The 
Italians, indeed, were so exceedingly defective in this department that 
their best field-pieces consisted of small copper tubes covered with wood 
and hides. They were mounted on unwieldy carriages drawn by oxen, 
and followed by waggons loaded with stone balls. These guns were 
worked so awkwardly, that the besieged, says Guicciardini, had time 

between the discharges to repair the mischief inflicted by them ' 

The French, on the other hand, were provided with a beautiful train of 
ordnance, consisting of bronze cannon about eight feet in length, and 
many smaller pieces. They were lightly mounted, drawn by horses, and 
easily kept pace with the rapid movements of the army. They dis- 
charged iron balls, and were served with admirable skill, intimidating 
their enemies by the rapidity and accuracy of their fire, and easily de- 
molishing their fortifications, which were constructed with little strength 
or scieo.ee." — History of Ferdinand and Isabella, vol. ii, p. 259. 



1495.] THE SWISS MERCENARIES. 211 

his judgment, but the other was not. The marquis was of 
that mind too, but his uncle was against it; and being an 
honest and discreet man, strenuously opposed it, for he loved 
us well, and served against us unwillingly. At length tuey 
were unanimous in their opinion for fighting. 



Ch. XL — How Parleys were Tainly attempted; and the Beginning of 
the Battle of Fornovo. — 1495. 

You must know that the king had placed his greatest 
strength in his van ; for in it there were about three hun- 
dred and fifty men-at-arms, three thousand Swiss (the 
hopes of the whole army*), three hundred archers, and 
6ome of the two hundred mounted cross-bow men of his own 
guard (which was a great loss to him, as he ordered them 
to fight on foot). Besides these we had very few foot; but 
what we had were distributed among them. There fought 
on foot among the Swiss the Lord Englebert of Clevest, 
brother to the Duke of Cleves, the Lord of Lornay J, and the 
bailiff of Dijon, who commanded them ; and the artillery 
was placed in their front. The forces that had been left in 

* The Swiss mercenaries were the finest infantry of that age, and, by 
their defeat of the Burgundian chivalry at Granson and Morat, had fully 
demonstrated the superiority of infantry in battle. Their organisation 
is thus described by Mr. Prescott : '" The Swiss were formed into 
battalions, varying from 3000 to 8000 men each. They wore little 
defensive armour, and their principal weapon was the pike, eighteen 
feet long. Formed into these solid battalions, which, bristling with 
spears all around, received the technical appellation of the hedgehog, 
they presented an invulnerable front on every quarter. In the level 
field, with free scope allowed for action, they bore down all opposition, 
and received unshaken the most desperate charges of the steel-clad 
cavalry on their terrible array of pikes. They were too unwieldy, how- 
ever, for rapid or complicated manoeuvres; and they were easily discon- 
certed by any unforeseen impediment or irregularity of the ground." — 
History of Ferdinand and Isabella, vol. ii. p. 258. 

f Engilbert de Cleves, Count of Auxerre, and afterwards Count of 
Nevers and Eu, became a naturalised Frenchman in 1486, married 
Charlotte de Bourbon, and died on the 21st of November, 1506. 

% Louis de Menton, Lord of Lornay, captain of the kind's huudred 
6wiss guards, and Master of the Hoise to the Queen. 

P I 



212 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [149*; 

the territories of Florence, and those which had been sent tc 
Genoa against the judgment of all people, would have been 
of very great service to us on this occasion. Our vanguard 
had by this time marched on as far as the enemy's camp, 
and everybody expected they would have attacked us ; but 
our two other bodies were neither so near each other, nor so 
well ordered as on the day before ; and because the Mar- 
quis of Mantua (who had already passed the river, and en- 
tered the plain) was within a quarter of a league of our rear 
ready to attack them, but marching slowly on, and in such 
close order, that it was a very fine sight to behold, the king 
was forced to turn his back upon his own vanguard, and 
face about to his enemies at the rear. I was at that time 
with the Cardinal, awaiting an answer ; but I told him it 
was no time to trifle any longer, and so I passed by the 
Swiss squadron and went to find out the king. In my 
passage I lost a page (who was my cousin-german), a valet- 
de-chambre, and a foot-boy, who followed me at a little dis- 
tance ; and I did not see when they were slain. 

I had not come a hundred paces, when I heard a great 
noise in the place from whence I came, or a little behind it : 
it was the Estradiots, who were gotten into the king's quar- 
ters, where there were not above three or four houses ; and 
they rifled his baggage, and killed or wounded four or five 
men, but the rest escaped. They killed altogether about a 
hundred footboys and servants belonging to our carriages, and 
put our whole train in very great disorder. When I came 
where the king was, I found him making knights. The enemy 
being come very near him, he was obliged to give over ; 
and I heard Matthew the bastard of Bourbon* (who was in 
great favour with the king), and one Philip du Moulin f (a 
very brave gentleman), call to the king, and say, " On, sir, 
on ; " upon which he went to the head of the army, and placed 
himself directly before his standard, so that there was not a 
man that I saw nearer the enemy, unless it were the bastard 
of Bourbon. I had not been with the king a quarter of an 

* Matthew, surnamed the Great Bastard of Bourbon, was a natural 
son of John II.. Duke of Bourbon. On his return from Italy he was 
treated Admiral and Governor of Guienne and Picardy; and he died 
hi 1505. 

f Philippe du Moulin, Knight, is mentioned as one of the member* 
pf the king's council. 



1495.] BATTLE OF FORNOVO. 213 

hour before the enemy were advanced within a hundred 
paces of his majesty, who was as ill guarded and attended as 
any prince or noble that I ever saw ; but he is well guarded 
who is guarded by God : and it was true what the venera- 
ble Friar Jerome had presaged, who said, " That God would 
lead him as it were by the hand." His rear was posted on the 
right, a little behind him. The next battalion to him on that 
side was the Duke of Orleans' troop, consisting of about eighty 
lances, commanded by Robinet de Framezelles *, about 
forty more under the Sieur de la Trimouille, and the hundred 
Scottish archers, who put themselves into as close order as 
if they had been men-at-arms. I was on the left among the 
gentlemen of the Vingt-Escusf, the pensioners, and others 
of the king's household : I will not mention their several 
captains for brevity's sake ; but the rear was commanded 
by the Count of Foix. 

About a quarter of an hour after my arrival, the enemy, 
being advanced so near the king (as you have heard), began 
to couch their lances, advanced upon a gentle gallop, and 
in two bodies charged our two squadrons on the right 
of them, and the Scottish archers ; our men advanced to- 
wards them, and the king as bravely as any. On the left, 
where I was posted, we charged them on the flank much to 
our advantage ; and, indeed, to say truth, never charge was 
brisker on both sides. The Estradiots, who were in the rear 
of that division, seeing our mules and sumpter-horses making 
with all speed to our vanguard, and that their comrades 
were beginning to plunder, quilted their men-at-arms, and 
ran to get their share of the booty ; but certainly, if fifteen 
hundred light horse had but attacked us with their scimitars 
in their hands (which is a terrible weapon), considering the 
smallness of our number, we must certainly have been 
beaten ; but God assisted us, for no sooner had they charged 
us with their lances but their Italian men-at-arms fled, and 
all their infantry, or the greatest part of them, gave ground 
also. At the same time that this squadron charged us the 
Count di Cajazzo attacked our van ; but they came not sc 

* Robinet de Framezelles was lieutenant to the Duke of Orleans at 
the capture of No vara in 1495. 

f Part of the king's guard, who received tocenty crowns a month) 
whence the name. 

p S 



214 THE MEMOIKS OF PHILIP DE COJTMINES. [1495. 

close, for when they should have couched their lances their 
hearts failed, and they fell into disorder ; and the Swiss 
took fifteen or twenty of them in a company, and put them 
to the sword: the rest fled, and were but indifferently pur- 
sued ; for the Marshal de Gie with much ado kept his 
forces together, for he perceived another great body of them 
not very far off. However, some followed the chase, and 
the enemy fled over the ground where we had charged along 
the highway, with their swords only in their hands ; for 
they had thrown away their lances. 

But you must know that that brigade which charged the 
king was warmly pursued ; for all of us made after them : 
some of them fled to the village from whence we were come, 
others made at the top of their speed to their camp, and all 
of us after them : only the king stayed behind with some of 
his troops, and put himself in no little danger by doing so. 
One of the first men of the enemy who was slain was the 
Lord Rodolph of Mantua, the marquis's uncle (who was to 
have sent orders to the Lord Anthony of Urbino, when it 
was time for him to advance), for they thought the battle 
would have lasted a long while, according to the custom of 
Italy ; and the Lord Anthony excused himself upon that 
score, but I believe he saw nothing to encourage him to 
advance. We had a great number of grooms and servants 
with our waggons, who flocked about the Italian men-at- 
arms, when they were dismounted, and knocked most of them 
on the head. The greatest part of them had their hatchets 
(which they cut their wood with) in their hands, and with 
them they broke up their head-pieces, and then knocked out 
their brains ; otherwise they could not easily have killed 
them, they were so very well armed ; and to be sure there 
were three or four of our men to attack one man-at-arms. 
The long swords also which our archers and servants wore 
did very good execution. The king continued on the 
ground where he had been charged, declaring that he would 
neither follow the chase nor retire to our vanguard, which 
was at too far a distance. He had appointed seven or eight 
young gentlemen to attend constantly about him. He had 
escaped very well the first charge, considering how near he 
was to the enemy ; for within twenty paces of him the bas- 
tard of Bourbon was taken prisoner and carried off to their 
camp. 



1495.] VICTORY OF THE FRENCH. 215 



Ch. XII. — Consequences of the Victory gained by the French at For- 
novo; and the Danger to which King Charles VIII. found himself 
exposed. — 1495. 

The king (as I said before) remained in the same place, 
and so ill attended that of all his squadron he had none left 
him but Anthony des Aubus, a gentleman of his bed-cham- 
ber, a little man, and but ill-armed ; the others were all dis- 
persed, as he told me himself at night before their faces, and 
they ought to have been ashamed of themselves : but they 
returned to his assistance very seasonably ; for a small party 
of the routed enemy coming along the road, and perceiving 
it so thin of men, fell upon the king and the aforesaid gen- 
tleman of his bed-chamber ; but the king, by the activity of his 
horse (which was the best in the world), kept them at bay 
till others of his men came up, who were not far off; and 
then the Italians were all forced to fly. Upon this the king 
took their counsel and retired to his van, which had never 
stirred from its ground. Thus the king came off victoriously 
with the main battle, and if the van had advanced but a 
hundred paces, the enemy's whole army would have fled : 
some said they ought to have advanced, and others that they 
ought not. 

Our troops, which had pursued, followed the enemy to 
their very camp, which was extended towards Fornovo ; and 
I saw none of our men touched but one Julian Bourgneuf, 
who fell down dead from a blow that was given him by an 
Italian who passed by him ; but he was very ill armed. 
Upon that accident our men stopped, and cried, " Let us re- 
turn to the king ; " and at that very word the whole party 
halted to give their horses breath, which had been very 
hard ridden, and were tired with the length of the way, 
which was full of sharp stones and gravel. Not far from us 
we saw a party of about thirty of the enemy's men-at-arms 
march along in retreat ; but we were in disorder and suf- 
fered them to pass. When our horses had taken a little 
breath we went in search of the king, not knowing where 
he was : we set off at a good trot, but we had not gone far 
before we perceived him at a great distance. We then 

r 4 



216 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

caused our servants to alight and gather up the lances, 
which lay very thick upon the field, and especially the bour- 
donnasses ; but they were good for nothing, for they were 
hollow and light, and weighed no more than a javelin, yet 
they were finely painted ; so that we were now better furnished 
with lances than on the day before, and marched directly 
towards the king. In our way we fell in with several 
bodies of the enemy's foot, who were of the marquis's divi- 
sion, and had hid themselves behind the hills when he made 
his charge upon the king. Several of them were slain ; but 
others got over the river and escaped, and we did not trou- 
ble ourselves much about them. 

Some of our men in the heat of the action cried out 
"Remember Guynegate," which was a battle* we had lost 
in King Louis' time in Picardy against the King of the 
Romans, because our people fell to plundering the waggons, 
though there our men had got nothing ; but here their Estra- 
diots took what they thought good, and pillaged as they 
pleased ; but they carried off* only five and fifty of our richest 
and best-covered sumpters, which belonged to the king and 
his chamberlains, and took one of the king's gentlemen of 
the bed-chamber called Gabriel t, to whose care were com- 
mitted all the relics and curiosities which for a long time had 
belonged to the kings of France, and were then in the army, 
because the king was there in person. Many other of our 
sumpters and waggons were overturned, destroyed, and plun- 
dered by our own men ; but the enemy had no more than I have 
already mentioned. We had, indeed, several pimps and 
wenches who followed the camp on foot, who stripped the 
dead and did a great deal of mischief. 

To speak the truth (upon impartial information from both 
sides), we lost only Julian Bourgneuf, the captain of the 
king's gate, nine of the Scottish archers, one gentleman of 
the household, about twenty horse of the vanguard, and 
seventy or eighty servants belonging to our baggage. Qn 
their side they lost three hundred and fifty men-at-arms 
upon the field; for no prisoners were taken, which perhaps 
never happened before. Few of their P^stradiots were slain, 
for they were busy in plundering when they should have 

* See Book VI. Chap. 5. for an account of this battle. 

♦ Gabriel de la Bondiniere. — Dupont, ii. 478. 



v i495.] LOSS OF THE CONFEDERATES. 217 

6een fighting. In the whole (as I have been informed by 
several of their nobility) they lost three thousand five hun- 
dred men (others say more), and among them were several 
persons of quality. I myself saw a list of eighteen, all of 
them considerable persons, and among the rest four or five 
of the Gonzagas, which is the name of the marquis's own 
family. The Marquis of Mantua in this battle lost sixty 
gentlemen of his own subjects, all mounted and not one on 
foot among them. It is strange that so many should have been 
killed with the sword, for our artillery killed not ten in both 
armies, and the battle lasted not a quarter of an hour ; for 
as soon as the enemy had broken their lances they fled, and 
the chase lasted about three-quarters of an hour. Their 
battles in Italy used not to be managed at this rapid rate ; 
their custom was to fight squadron after squadron, and the 
fight lasted sometimes a whole day together, without either 
side winning the victory. 

The rout was great on their side : three hundred of their 
men-at-arms, and most of their Estradiots fled, some to Reg- 
gio *, and others to Parma, which was about eight leagues 
from the field of battle. When our army was first engaged 
in the morning, the Count de Petillane and the Lord Virgil 
Ursini fled from us : the Lord Virgil only retired to a gen- 
tleman's house hard by, and stayed there upon his parole ; 
but the truth is, we had done him an injury. The Count de 
Petillane went over to the enemy; he was a person well 
known in their army, for he had always had a command 
under the Florentines or King Ferrand. As soon as he 
was got amongst them he began to cry out " A Petillane, a 
Petillane ;" and he followed those who fled above three 
leagues, calling out to them, and assuring them that there 
was no danger, and that if they faced about, the day would 
still be their own : by which means he rallied a great part 
of then), and gave them good hopes ; and if it had not 
been for him, it would have been a total defeat, for it was 
a great encouragement to them to have such an officer escapa 
from us and come to their assistance. 

He was eager for attacking us again that very night, but 
all the rest of the officers opposed it. He told me so him- 

* This is not Reggio in Calabria, but another city of the 6ame naiM 
in the (iukeduiu of Modena, fifteen miles from Parma. 



218 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

self afterwards, and the Marquis of Mantua confirmed it, 
and owned that advice to be his ; and this is certain, had it 
not been for him, their army would not have kept together 
till morning. 

As soon as we were got up to the king, we discovered a 
great body of men-at-arms drawn up in order of battle out- 
side their camp, with some infantry ; but we could only see 
their heads and the tops of their pikes and lances. They had 
stood there all day, but they were farther off than we 
imagined: before we could have come at them we must have 
passed the river, which was deep, and increased every hour, 
for it had thundered, lightened, and rained most prodigiously 
all that day, especially during the fight and while we were 
in the pursuit. The king immediately called a council of 
war, in which it was debated whether he should advance 
against this new body or not. There were then with him 
three Italian knights ; one of them was Signor John James 
di Trivulce (who is yet living, and behaved himself very 
well that day) ; another was Signor Francisco Secco, a brave 
man of seventy-two years of age, who had been bred a 
soldier under the Florentines ; the third was Signor Camillo 
Vitelli, who, with three of his brothers, was then in the 
kind's service.. These came unsent for from Citta-de- 
Castello as far as Sarzana (which is a great way), to be pre- 
sent at this battle ; and, finding that it was impossible to 
come in time enough with his troops, Camillo left them to 
march slowly after, and advanced with all speed to overtake 
the king. The last two were of opinion that we should 
attack the body that was still unbroken ; but the French 
officers being consulted, gave their judgment against it, pre- 
tending that we had done enough, and that it grew late and 
was time to think of quarters. 

Secco persisted, and pressed hard to have that body 
charged ; he showed them that people were passing to and 
fro upon the great road that led to Parma (which was the 
next town they had to retreat to), and assured them that the 
enemy were either flying or rallying again ; and, as we 
heard afterwards, he was in the right. His behaviour and 
counsel denoted him to be a brave and wise man, for all the 
officers told me afterwards, and some of them before the 
Duke of Milan's face, that, if we had but advanced against 



1495.' RESULTS OF THE VICTORY. 219 

them, we had certainly obtained the greatest and most glori- 
ous victory that the French nation had won for ten years ! 
and, had we known how to have improved it, and obliged 
the people by our civil treatment of them, in eight days' 
time the Duke of Milan would not have had anything left 
but the castle of Milan, so inclinable were his subjects to 
revolt from him. And the Venetians would have been much 
in the same condition, and there would have been no need 
to care about Naples ; for the Venetians would have been 
able to have raised men only in Venice, Brescia and Cre- 
mona (which is but a small place), for all the rest of their 
territories in Italy would have been lost. But God had dealt 
by us as Jerome had foretold, and we had the honour of the 
day, though, to speak truth, our ill conduct did not deserve 
it, nor did we then know how to manage our victory ; but 
now, in the year 1497, if such good fortune should happen 
to the king, I think he could order it better. 

Whilst we were in this suspense the night drew on, and 
the enemy that had faced us marched off into their camp. 
"VVe, on the other side, took up our quarters about a quarter 
of a league from the field of battle. The king lay in a farm- 
house or cottage (to judge by the meanness of the building), 
but the houses belonging to it were full of unthreslied corn, 
which served for provender for our horses. There were a 
few houses besides that in which the king lay, but they were 
even worse than it ; so they were but little benefit to us, and 
every one was forced to quarter as he could. For my part, 
I remember I lay in a little pitiful vineyard, upon the ground 
without any shelter; for the king had borrowed my cloak in 
the morning, and my baggage was not to be found. He that 
had anything to eat kept himself from starving ; but very 
few had any victuals more than a crust of bread or so, 
which they took from their servants. I saw the king in his 
chamber, where there were several wounded ; amongst the 
rest, the seneschal of Lyons and others, whom he caused to 
be dressed. The king was very cheerful, and every one was 
pleased he had escaped so well ; but we did not boast and 
swagger as we used to do, for the enemy was at hand. All 
our Swiss were that night upon the guard; the king gave 
them three hundred crowns, and they watched very diligently 
and their drums beat bravely during the whole night. 



220 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 



Ch. XIIT. — How the Lord of Argenton went alone to parley with the 
Enemy, upon the Refusal of those that were deputed to go along with 
him, and of the King's safe Arrival with his whole Army at Asti. — 
1495. 

The next morning I resolved with myself to pursue our 
negotiations for peace, as I was still very solicitous about the 
king's passage in safety ; but I could scarce find a trumpeter 
that would venture to the enemy's camp, because nine of 
their trumpeters had been slain (unwittingly) in the battle, 
and they had taken one of ours and killed another, whom (as 
I mentioned before) the king had sent to them before the 
fight began ; but at last one of our trumpeters was pre- 
vailed upon to go, and went to the enemy with a passport 
from the king, and brought me another to meet and confer 
in the midway between the two armies. I judged it to be 
dangerous ; however, I resolved not to break with them, nor 
pretend any difficulty. The king nominated the Cardinal of 
St. Malo, the Lord de Gie, marshal of France, the Lord de 
Piennes his chamberlain, and myself. The enemy appointed 
the Marquis of Mantua captain-general of the Venetians, 
the Count di Cajazzo general for the Duke of Milan, and 
formerly of our side, and Signors Luca Pisani and Melchior 
Trevisano the two proveditors. We approached so near that 
we could plainly discern them, and that there were only 
those four upon the bank and the river between us, which 
was much swollen since the day before. Nobody but they 
appeared out of their camp, and on our side there was no- 
body but we four and a sentinel that stood over against 
them. We sent a herald to know whether they would pass 
the river to us, which I thought a hard matter to persuade 
them to, because I believed it was what both sides would 
scruple to do. Their answer was, that by agreement the 
conference was to be in the midway between the two armies ; 
that they had advanced already above half-way, and, being 
the chief officers in their army, they could not pass over with- 
out danger, which they did not think it prudent to venture. 
Our deputies were as careful of themselves, and made the 
9ame difficulty on their side, but would needs have me go 



1495.] PARLEYS WITH THE ENEMY. 221 

and confer with them without further instructions. I told 
them I could not in discretion go alone, and that I would at 
least have one witness along with me. Upon which there 
went with me one of the king's secretaries called Robertet, 
a servant of my own, and a herald, with whom I passed the 
river, in confidence that, if I could not come to any accom- 
modation, I should yet discharge my duty to them, since by 
my means the conference had been accepted. When I came 
within hearing, I told them they were not come half-way as 
they pretended, and that they ought at least to have come to 
the river's side ; however, since they were so near, I did not 
think it fit to let them return without being spoken with. 
They replied that the river was broad, and the noise of the 
waters so great, that they could not hear us from the other 
side ; and I could use no argument powerful enough to per- 
suade them to advance any farther ; but they asked me for my 
proposals. I answered, that I had no such commission, and 
that alone I could say nothing to them ; but, if they pleased 
to offer anything, I would acquaint the king with it. While 
we stood talking in this manner, a herald came to me to let 
me know that our commissioners were going back, and I 
might make what overtures I pleased ; but I refused to do 
that, for they understood the king's pleasure better than I, 
as being his confidants; besides which, they had whispered 
in his ear at their coming away ; but, as to the business then 
in discussion, I knew as much as the best of them. 

The Marquis of Mantua began to discourse about the battle, 
and asked me if the king would have put him to death if he 
had taken him prisoner. I told him " No," but he would 
have treated him honourably ; for the king had reason to 
esteem him, for the great honour he had gained by attack- 
ing him. Then he spoke to me in behalf of the prisoners, 
and particularly of his uncle the Lord Rodolph, whom he 
thought to be alive, but I knew the contrary ; however, I 
assured him they should all be civilly used ; and then I 
recommended to him the bastard of Bourbon, who was 
their prisoner. It was no hard matter to use our prisoners 
well ; for we had none, which perhaps had never been 
known in any battle before ; and the marquis had lost 
seven or eight of his near relations, and about sixscore of 
his men-at-arms. After which discourse I took my leaveb 



222 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

and promissed to return before night ; until when we agreed 
to a cessation of arms. 

Upon my return to the king, with his secretary, he asked 
me what news ? and immediately called a council of war in 
a pitiful poor chamber; but everybody's eye was fixed 
upon his neighbour, and we came to no resolution. The 
king whispered something in the Cardinal's ear, and then 
told me 1 should go back, and see what they would say 
(but, as the proposition of a conference had proceeded from 
me, it was probable they would insist that I should make 
some overtures first) ; however, the Cardinal told me I must 
conclude nothing ; but that was trifling, for it was not in 
my power to conclude anything unless I had instructions 
from them. However, I would neither say nor do anything 
that might hinder my going, for I resolved to do no harm, 
and I was in hopes to discover something by the enemy's 
looks, who, without doubt, were more fearful than we ; 
and I thought perhaps something or other might fall from 
them that might be improved to the benefit of both parties. 
So I set out for their camp ; but it was night before I 
reached the banks of the river. One of their trumpeters 
met me there, with a message from their four commis- 
sioners to desire I would advance no further that evening ; 
for their Estradiots were upon the guard, who knew nobody, 
and therefore, in all probability, it would be dangerous for 
me to venture ; but, if I pleased, he told me he would stay 
with me all night, and conduct me in the morning. How- 
ever, I sent him back, and told him I would be there again 
next morning by eight o'clock, and that he should await 
me ; or, if anything happened to prevent me, I would give 
them notice by a herald ; for I had no mind he should know 
anything of our condition that night, nor could I tell what 
resolution the king would take ; for I saw people whispering 
in his ear, which made me suspicious ; and so I returned to 
give his majesty an account of what I had done. 

Every man supped on what he could get to eat, and took 
up his lodging upon the ground. About midnight I went 
to the king's quarters, where I found the gentlemen of his 
bed-chamber booted and spurred, and ready to mount on 
horseback. They acquainted me with the king's resolution 
of retreating with all expedition towards Asti and the 



149-5.] CHARLES VIII. RETREATS TO ASTI. 223 

territories of the Marchioness of Montferrat ; and desired 
me to stay behind and amuse the enemy with a treaty. I 
heartily thanked them for their love, told them I took no 
delight in being killed, and that I would be on horseback 
as soon as the best. Awhile after the king awaked ; and, 
having heard mass, he mounted immediately. An hour 
before day one of our trumpeters sounded the watch, but 
when we marched off we made no use of our trumpets, nor, 
indeed, was it proper to do so : however, this silent stealing 
away in the night was enough to have discouraged the 
whole army, especially those who knew what it meant ; for 
we turned our back upon the enemy, and consulted nothing 
but our safety, which in an army is of dangerous conse- 
quence. Besides, at our first decampment we had very 
difficult marching ; for the ways were deep and woody, and, 
having no guides, we lost ourselves several times. 1 heard 
the soldiers call for guides to their ensigns ; but the master 
of the horse and all of them answered there were none : 
but we had no need of any, for God had conducted us 
thither, and (as Friar Jerome said) He would carry us back 
again ; otherwise it could not have been supposed that so 
great a prince would have marched in the night without a 
guide, where so many might have been had. Besides, God 
gave us a greater evidence than this of His immediate pro- 
tection ; for the enemy perceived nothing of our decamp- 
ment till noon the next day, as they still depended upon 
the treaty which I had set on foot : and then the river was 
so swollen, it was past four in the afternoon before any 
durst venture over to pursue us. The first that passed was 
the Count di Cajazzo, with two hundred Italian light horse, 
but the current was so strong, they passed in a great deal 
of danger, and, as I was told afterwards, one or two men 
were drowned. 

In the meantime, we marched on through woody and un- 
even ways, where we could go but one abreast for near six 
miles together; but at last we came into a fair plain, where 
our van, artillery, and baggage were arrived already, and 
were so numerous and great, that at first sight they frighted 
us, when we saw the white colours chequered with red, 
which belonged to Signor John James di Trivulce, and were 
like those which were carried before the Marquis of Mantua 



224 THE MEMOIRS OF PITIUP DE COMMINES. [1495 

in the fight. Our van were in no less fear of our rear, seeing 
them at a distance alon^r the road, and marching towards 
them as fast as they could ; upon which both parties stood 
to their arms, and drew up in order of battle : but this fear 
was soon over, for our scouts met immediately, and recog- 
nised one another ; so we marched to Borgo San-Donino, 
where we halted and refreshed our men, and where also a 
false alarm was given, on purpose to get our Swiss out of 
the town, lest they should have plundered it. From thence 
we marched, and took up our quarters that night at Firen- 
zuola, and the second night near Piacenza, where we passed 
the Trebia, but left two hundred lances, our Swiss, and all 
our artillery, except six guns, on the other side of the river: 
and this the king did, that his army might encamp more 
commodiously ; for the river is usually low, and especially 
at that time of the year. However, about ten o'clock at 
night it swelled so fast, that nobody could get over either on 
foot or on horseback ; neither could one party have relieved 
the other, in case of necessity, which was a matter of great 
concern, considering how near the enemy were to us. All 
that night was spent on both sides in contriving a remedy; 
but nothing would do till the water fell of itself, which hap- 
pened at about five in the morning. Then we threw over 
ropes to the other side, to help the passage of our foot, who 
were forced to wade up to the waist in water. When they 
were over, the horse and artillery followed ; but with great 
difficulty and danger, not only from the garrison of Piacenza, 
but from the Count di Cajazzo, who was got into the town, 
upon intelligence that there were designs to betray it to the 
king, in trust for a young son of John Galeas, the last Duke 
of Milan, who had died not long before, as you have heard. 
If the king would have accepted such overtures as these, 
several other persons and towns would willingly have come 
over to him, by the interest of Signor John James di 
Trivulce; but lie would not hearken to anything prejudicial 
to the pretensions of his cousin the Duke of Orleans, who 
was then in Novara ; and yet, to speak impartially on the 
other hand, his majesty was not desirous to advance the 
grandeur and power of his cousin ; but his chief design was 
to march on with his army, and leave these disputes to be 
adjusted as they might. The third day after the battle, the 






1495.] CHARLES vm. ARRIVES AT NICE. 225 

king dined at Castel San-Giovanni, and lay in a wood ; the 
fourth he dined at Voghera, and lay at Ponte Curone ; the 
next night he lay near Tortona, where he passed the river 
Scrivia, which Fraeasse* was to have defended, for the 
garrison of Tortona supported the Duke of Milan, and were 
commanded by him : but when he was informed by our 
quarter-masters that the king intended not to remain, he 
retired into the town, and sent us word, that he would 
furnish us with what provisions we pleased ; and he faithfully 
performed his promise ; for when our whole army marched 
under the walls of the town, Fraeasse came out (in his 
armour) to wait upon the king, but attended only by two 
persons ; he excused himself as handsomely as he could for 
not quartering us in the town, sent us out more provisions, 
(so that our army was plentifully furnished,) and came again 
at night, to pay his respects to the king in his tent. But 
you must know he was of the house of St. Severino, brother 
to the Count di Cajazzo, and the Lord Galeas ; and not long 
before had served the king in Romagna, as has been already 
observed. From thence our next march was to Nizza della 
Paglia f, which belongs to the Marquisate of Montferrat ; and 
glad we were to reach that place ; for then we were safe, 
and in the country of our friends. Before our arrival there, 
the enemy's light horse, under the command of the Count di 
Cajazzo, were perpetually at our heels, and gave us great 
disturbance ; for few of our horse were willing to be in the 
rear, and the nearer we approached to a place of security, 
the more difficult it was to persuade them to fight. Some say 
this is the nature of the French, and Italian authors have 
written, that in their attacks they are more than men, but 
less than women in their retreats. The first part of their 
character I believe, for certainly upon a charge they are the 
fiercest nation in the world (I mean their cavalry) ; but at 
the end of an engagement, there is no nation in the world 
but is less daring and courageous than they were in the be- 
ginning of the action. 

* Gasparo, surnamed Fracasso de San Severino. 
f Generally known as Nice. Charles VIII. arrive 1 there on Monday, 
July 13. 1495. 



vol. n. 



2£3 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 



Ch. XIV. — How the Swiss secured the French army in its retreat. — 

1495. 

But to continue this discourse : Our rear was brought up 
by three hundred Swiss, with several field-pieces, and a 
strong body of hackbutters, who drove off" the Estradiots, 
who were not numerous. However, the grand army which 
had fought us was pursuing with all possible diligence, but 
as they began their march a day after us, and were heavily 
armed, they could not get up to us ; so that we lost not a 
man in our retreat, nor could they ever come within twenty 
miles of our rear. When they found they could not come 
up with us, (and perhaps they never desired it,) they turned 
off towards Novara, where, as we said before, the Duke of 
Milan and the Venetians had another army ; but if they 
could have reached us, soon after we began our retreat, in 
all probability they had succeeded better than in the valley 
of Fornovo. 

I have said in several places of these Memoirs, that I 
have seen, and by experience found, that God the Creator 
was our conductor in this expedition into Italy ; yet it is 
convenient for me to repeat it again, for though from the 
time of the battle to our arrival at Nice, our quarters were 
taken up without proper order, yet we bore the hardships and 
inconveniences of the long march, without raising any mutiny 
or murmuring in the least. Our great want was of pro- 
visions, yet we were in some measure supplied by the country 
people, who might easily have poisoned us if they had 
pleased, not only in our victuals and wine, but in our water 
too, and our wells, which might have been dried up in a 
moment ; for I do not remember I saw any but what were 
very small. If they had had a mind to have destroyed ua 
by poison, it was in their power to have done it, and there- 
fore we may reasonably believe our Saviour and Redeemer 
Jesus Christ prevented that desire in them. I have seen 
our men so thirsty, that our foot in great numbers have lam 
down, and drank out of the ditches round about the little 
villages through which we marched. Our marches were 
long, and our drink nothing but standing water that stank; 
And yet our men were so greedy, they plunged in it up to 



H95.] CONDUCT OF THE FRENCH ARMT IN RETREAT. 227 

the waist to come at it ; for we had multitudes that followed 
the camp, and were not soldiers, but attended to our mules. 
The king always marched before day, but never took a 
guide with him, nor baited till noon, and then he dined ; 
and those that attended him took what care they could of 
themselves. No man in the whole army, though of the 
best quality, was excused from looking to his own horse, 
but every one brought his own straw or hay in his arms. 
Twice I did it myself, and was two days without eating any 
thing but bread, and that none of the best; yet I suffered 
not so much hardship as others did. Our army was highly 
to be commended for one thing, and that is, that I never 
heard any of our soldiers complain ; and yet it was the most 
painful and incommodious march I ever made, though I 
have been through several that were bad enough, with 
Charles Duke of Burgundy. We marched no faster than 
our artillery, and were often forced to halt, on purpose to 
mend the guns, which, because of the want of horses to 
draw them, incommoded us extremely; but whenever we 
were hard put to it, we were generously supplied by the 
officers of the army ; so that we lost not one piece, nor one 
pound of powder in our retreat; and yet I am of opinion 
never any man saw guns of their size conveyed with such 
expedition through such impassable places. And if I have 
mentioned any thing of disorder or inconvenience in our 
quarters or elsewhere, it was not for want of good officers 
and men of experience in our army ; but (as fortune would 
have it), they had no authority with the king, who was 
young and intractable, as I have said before ; so that to 
conclude, our Saviour Jesus Christ did most manifestly 
reserve all the glory of that journey to himself. 

The seventh day after the battle, we marched from Nice, 
and encamped all together in the field, not far from Ales- 
sandria. We doubled our guards that night, and kept very 
strict watch, and the next morning we marched to Asti, 
that is to say, the king and those that attended on him, but 
the army continued in the field. We found the town of 
Asti well furnished with provisions, which was a great re- 
freshment to our wearied troops, who wanted them severely, 
having endured much hunger, thirst, labour, heat, and 
watching; and after all had no clothes to their backs, but 



228 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILir DE COMMINES. [H95. 

what were ragged and worn out. As soon as the king was 
in Asti, about an hour before bedtime, I despatched a 
gentleman named Philip de la Couldre (who had formerly 
been in my service, but was then a servant to the Duke of 
Orleans), to Novara, where the duke was besieged, though 
not so closely but that people might get in and out ; for 
their design was only to starve them. I sent him word by 
this gentleman, that our king had several treaties on foot 
with the Duke of Milan (one of which I managed by means 
of the Duke of Ferrara), for which reason I thought it con- 
venient he should immediately come to the king, after he 
had assured his party in the town that he would return in a 
short time, or send them relief. They were no less than 
7500 men in pay, and as fine a body of troops (for their 
number) both French and Swiss, as ever were seen in the 
field. After the king had been a day at Asti, he had intel- 
ligence from the Duke of Orleans and from others, that the 
enemies' two armies were joined before Novara ; and the 
duke pressed for supplies, for (by reason of their imprudence 
at first) their provisions now began to fail ; but had they 
been so provident when they came into the town, as they 
ought to have been, they need not have been in distress ; 
for there was plenty enough in the villages about it, espe- 
cially of corn, which if they had brought in time into the 
town, and carefully laid up in their magazines, they would 
not have been forced to surrender : for had they held out 
but one month longer, they would have come off honourably 
themselves, and covered the enemy with shame and con- 
fusion. 



Ch. XV. — How the King fitted out a Fleet with an intention to have 
relieved the Caslles of Naples ; and of the Miscarriage of that De- 
sign. — 1495. 

As soon as the king had refreshed himself for some few 
days at Asti, he marched to Turin*; and at his departure 

* Charles VIII. arrived at Turin, on Thursday, July 30. 1495. 



1495.] OVERTURES OF PEACE. 229 

from Asti he despatched Peron de Basche, the steward of 
his household, to equip a fleet at Nice with all speed for the 
relief of the castles of Naples, which held out for the king. 
Peron oheyed his majesty's orders, prepared a fleet, and gave 
the command of it to the Lord d'Arban*, who sailed with it 
as far as Prucef, within sight of the enemy; but the wea- 
ther was bad, and would not suffer them to engage, so that 
the fleet did nothing ; for the Lord d'Arban returned to Leg- 
horn, where most part of his men got on shore, and ran away 
from their ships; and the enemy came with their fleet into 
the port of Bengon |, not far from Piombino, where they con- 
tinued two months ; so that our men were able to send some 
small supplies into Naples, by reason that the nature of the 
port of Bengon is such, that unless it be by one single wind 
ships can hardly get out, and that wind blows seldom in 
winter. The Lord d'Arban was valiant in person, but not a 
very skilful admiral. 

During the king's stay at Turin many proposals of treaties 
passed between the king and the Duke of Milan ; and some 
were managed by the mediation of the Duchess of Savoy, 
who was the Marquis of Montferrat's daughter, a widow, 
and mother to the young duke § that was then living. 
Others were transacted by other people : I was also con- 
cerned therein : for the confederates (by whom I mean the 
commanders at that time before Novara), had a great desire 
to have me employed in the matter, and sent me a passport ; 
but (as there are always emulations at court) the Cardinal 
would not suffer it, but prevailed that the overture proposed 
by the Duchess of Savoy might be preferred, which was 
managed by the Cardinal's landlord, who was treasurer of 
Savoy, a wise man, and a good servant to his mistress: this 

* Louis Aleman, Knight, Lord of Arbcnt and Mornay, was long in 
the service of Charles, Duke of Burgundy; but having sold the Castle 
of Jou, of which he was governor, to Louis XL for 14,000 crowns, he 
transferred his allegiance to the French King, from whom he received 
considerable preferment. Guicciardini speaks of him as " uomo belli- 
coso ma non esperimentato." 

f Ponza, a rocky island off the coast of Naples, 35 miles south-west 
of Gaeta. 

J Porto-Longone, near Piombino. 

§ Charles John Amadeus, born on the 24th of June, 1488, succeeded 
his father in 1489, and died on the 1 6th of April, 1496. 



230 THE MEMOIBS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

treaty took up a long time, and for this cause the Bailiff of 
Dijon was sent ambassador into Switzerland, to raise five 
thousand of their men. 

I have already mentioned the equipment of our fleet at 
Nice, and its setting sail for the relief of the castles of Naples, 
which it was unable to effect for the above-mentioned rea- 
sons ; whereupon the Lord de Montpensier, and the rest of 
the officers that were in the castles aforesaid (perceiving 
their condition), resolved to march off by the help of the 
army, which had been left in divers places for the defence of 
that kingdom, and was then drawn as near the castle as pos- 
sible ; but they left a number to defend the castles propor- 
tionable to the quantity of provisions which remained ; for 
they were insufficient to sustain them all. And having 
given the command of the garrison to the Lord Ognas and 
two other officers of conduct and experience, the Lord de 
Montpensier, the Prince of Salerno, the Seneschal of Beau- 
caire and others, marched off with two thousand five hun- 
dred men, for Salerno. King Ferrand pretended it was con- 
trary to their treaty, and that the hostages which they had 
given him a few days before (which were the Lord d'Alegre, 
Monsieur de la Marche d'Ardain*, the Lord de la Chapelle 
d'Anjou, Monsieur Roquebertin, a Catalonian, and one Mon- 
sieur Genlyt), were at his mercy, and that he might law- 
fully put them to death. You must understand that some 
three months before, by intelligence with the enemy, and 
our bad order, King Ferrand had got into the town of 
Naples \, though our men had notice of all his designs. 
I would enlarge upon this, but I can say nothing of it ex- 
cept by hearsay (yet I had it from very good hands) ; how- 
ever, it is not my method to insist upon any thing that I was 
not an eye-witness of myself. But while King Ferrand was 
in Naples, he received the news of our master's being killed 

• Robert de la Marck, Duke of Bouillon, and Lord of Sedan. 

t Jacques de Hangest, Lord of Genlis, and councillor and chamber- 
lain to the king. After his deliverance from Naples, he went on a pil- 
grimage to Jerusalem, and on his return he was sent on an embassy to 
Charles, Archduke of Austria, in 1514. 

% Ferdinand re-entered Naples on the 7th of July, 1495. The story 
of his recovery of his capital is thus told by Mr. Prescott : — " King Fer- 
dinand, having gained new confidence from bis experience of the favour- 
able dispositions existing towards him in Calabria, and relying on • 



1495.] KING FERDINANT* RECOVERS NAPLES. 231 

in the battle of Fornovo ; and our men in the castle had the 
same news, from several letters and stories forged by the 
Duke of Milan, which they believed as readily as the Co- 
lonne, who revolted from us immediately, as desiring to be 
always on the strongest side, though (as I said before) they 
were under great obligations to the king. Upon these re- 
ports, but chiefly because our men were confined in great 
numbers in the castle (where provisions were scarce), and 
had lost all their horses and household stuff" in the town, 
they came to a treaty, on the 19th of October 1495, after they 
had been besieged three months and fourteen days) ; and 

similar feeling of loyalty in his capital, determined to hazard a bold 
stroke for its recovery. He accordingly embarked at Messina, with a 
handful of troops only, on board the fleet of the Spanish admiral, Re- 
quescns. It amounted in all to eighty vessels, most of them of inconsi- 
derable size. With this armament, which, notwithstanding its formid- 
able show, carried little effective force for land operations, the adven- 
turous young monarch appeared off the harbour of Naples before the end 
of June, 1495. The Duke of Montpensier at that time garrisoned Na- 
ples with 6000 French troops. On the appearance of the Spanish navy, 
he marched out to prevent Ferdinand's landing, leaving a few only of 
his soldiers to keep the city in awe. But he had scarcely quitted it be- 
fore the inhabitants, who had waited with impatience an opportunity for 
throwing off the yoke, sounded the tocsin, and rising in arms through 
every part of the city, and massacring the feeble remains of the garri- 
son, shut the gates against him ; while Ferdinand, who had succeeded in 
drawing off the French commander in another direction, no sooner pre- 
sented himself before the walls, than he was received with transports of 
joy by the enthusiastic people. 

" The French, however, though excluded from the city, by making a 
circuit effected an entrance into the fortresses which commanded it. From 
these posts Montpensier sorely annoyed the town, making frequent 
attacks on it, day and night, at the head of his gendarmerie, until they 
were at length checked in every direction by barricades, which the citi- 
zens hastily constructed with waggons, casks of stones, bags of sand, and 
whatever came most readily to hand. At the same time the windows, 
balconies, and house-tops were crowded with combatants, who poured 
down such a deadly shower of missiles on the heads of the French as 
finally compelled them to take shelter in their defences. Montpensier 
was now closely besieged, till at length reduced by famine, he was com- 
pelled to capitulate. Before the time prescribed for his surrender had 
arrived, however, he effected his escape at night, by water, to Salerno, 
at the head of twenty-five hundred men. The remaining garrison, with 
the fortresses, submitted to the victorious Ferdinand, at the beginning of 
the following year." — Hiitory of Ferdinand and Isabella, vol. ii. pp. 288- 
890. 



232 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMTNES. [1495. 

about three weeks after making the treaty, they marched 
away. They had promised, that if they were not relieved 
by a certain day, they would march off into Provence, and 
leave the castles without doing any farther act of hostility 
against that kingdom, either by sea or by land ; for per- 
formance of which promise the said hostages were given. 
And King Ferrand alleged they had broken their promise 
by departing without leave ; but our men affirmed the con- 
trary ; howbeit, the hostages were in no little danger, and 
not without cause. Whatever their articles were, I think 
our men did wisely to march away ; but they had done bet- 
ter if they had delivered up the castles when they went, and 
taken their hostages along with them : for by reason of their 
want of provisions and their despair of relief, the remaining 
garrison was forced to surrender within twenty days after, 
and the loss of the castle of Naples was the loss of the 
whole kingdom. 



Ch. XVI.— Of the great Famine and Misery to which the Duke of Or* 

leans and his army were reduced at Novara: Of the Death of the 
Marchioness of Montferrat : Of the Death of the Duke of Vendome ; 
and the conclusion of a Peace for the preservation of the besieged 
after several negotiations. — 1495. 

The king, during his stay at Turin, or at Quiers*, (whither 
he went sometimes for his diversion) grew impatient for the 
Swiss whom he had sent the Bailiff of Dijon to raise in 
Switzerland ; for he was extremely desirous, if possible, to 
restore the young Duke of Milan, and paid but little atten- 
tion to the distress of his cousin the Duke of Orleans, who 
began to be straitened in provisions, and sent couriers to us 
every day to beg the king to relieve him. The enemy had 
advanced their approaches, and gotten nearer the town than 
ever : besides, they were reinforced with a thousand German 
horse, under the command of Monsieur Frederic Capelare, 

* Chieri, a pleasant little Sardinian town, about eight miles south-e?^t 
ef Turin. 






1495.] SIEGE OP NOVARA. 233 

of the county of Ferrete, a brave soldier and an excellent 
officer, and trained in the wars of both Italy and France ; 
they had a recruit likewise of eleven thousand Landsknechts, 
out of the territories of the King of the Romans, commanded 
by Monsieur George Dabecfin *, a native of Austria, a per- 
son of great valour, and the very same that took St. Omers 
for the King of the Romans. 

The king, seeing the enemy's army daily reinforced, and 
that no honourable terms were to be expected, was per- 
suaded to retire to Ve rcelli "j", and there to concert measures 
how to relieve the Duke of Orleans, who (as I have said 
before) had taken no care to erect any magazines for the 
subsistence of his army upon his first entrance into No- 
vara ; and certainly it had been much better for the duke to 
have followed the advice which I gave him upon the king's 
return to Asti, to put all useless persons out of the town, and 
repair himself to the king : for his presence would have ad- 
vanced his affairs, or at least the troops he had left behind 
would not have been reduced to such extremity of hunger, 
for he would have capitulated sooner, had he found there 
was no hope of relief. But the Archbishop of Rouen J, who 
was with him at the taking of No vara, and was then with 
the king, to solicit in his behalf, sent him word not to stir, 
and assured him of relief; grounding his confidence upon 
the promises of the Cardinal of St. Malo, who was all power- 
ful with the king. The archbishop spoke as his affections 
prompted him ; but I was assured of the contrary, for no- 
body had any inclination to return to the battle, unless the 
king went in person, and his Majesty had no inclination to 
do so, as the dispute was only about that town, which the 
Duke of Orleans desired to keep, and the Duke of Milan to 
recover ; because as it is within ten leagues of Milan, he 
thought it necessary that they should be both under one 

* Called by Molinct (iii. 438.) " George Obestain, a native of Trent, 
in Germany." It seems probable that he was a member of the Styrian 
family of Herberstein, one of whom greatly distinguished himself in the 
wars against the Turks, in 1509. The Landsknechts were the heavy 
German infantry. 

t Vercelli is sixteen miles south-west of No vara. 

X George d'Amboise, afterwards a cardinal, and chief minister of 
state to Louis XII. from 1498 to 1509, He died at Lyons, on the 25th 
of May, 1510. 



234 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [H95, 

jurisdiction, there being nine or ten great cities near one 
another, within a small compass, and all depending upon the 
said duchy. However, Ludovic Sforza offered fair terms, 
that if we would deliver up Novara, and not disturb him in 
Genoa, in other things he would serve the king to the utmost 
of his power. 

Several great convoys of provision, both of corn and meal, 
were sent into Novara; but they always lost half by the 
way ; and once a small force of sixty men-at-arms, under the 
command of Chastillon, a young gentleman belonging to the 
court, was quite routed ; some were taken, some few entered, 
and others with great difficulty escaped ; so that it is not 
possible to imagine the extremity the garrison was reduced 
to. Every day some were starved to death ; two parts out 
of three were afflicted with distempers of which we had piti- 
ful and continual accounts, both in cipher and otherwise, 
which came to us with very great difficulty. We constantly 
gave them fair promises, and as constantly deceived them ; 
those who had the sole administration of affairs were very 
inclinable to fight, but they did not consider that nobody de- 
sired it beside themselves; for the great officers, as for in- 
stance the Prince of Orange (whom, upon his late arrival, 
the king often consulted in military affairs), and all the other 
officers of the army, desired things might be composed and 
adjusted by a peace, because winter was approaching, money 
wanting, the army but weak and sickly, and soldiers desert- 
ing daily, whilst others were dismissed by the king. Yet 
all the wise men in the camp were not able to persuade the 
Archbishop of Rouen from encouraging the Duke of Orleans 
not to leave Novara ; by which advice they brought him 
into a great deal of danger ; but this advice proceeded from 
an expectation of great recruits out of Switzerland, which 
the bailiff of Dijon had assured them he could raise. Some 
of our courtiers wrote to him to bring as many troops as he 
could assemble ; thus our councils were divided, and every 
man wrote and said what he pleased. 

Those who were averse to an accommodation, or to any meet- 
ing about it, pretended the enemy ought to make over- 
tures first, and that it did not consist with the king's honour 
to begin ; and the enemy being equally haughty on their 
side, the poor garrison in Novara suffered incredibly, and 



1495."] DEATH OF THE MARCHIONESS OF MONTFERRAT. 235 

their letters were full of nothing but relations of their mi- 
series, assuring us, first, that they could not hold out above 
ten days, then eight, and at last three ; but they exceeded 
the time which they had mentioned. To be brief, such ne- 
cessities had not heen known in our time, nor did ever men 
suffer so great a famine in a hundred years before. 

During this posture of affairs the Marchioness of Mont- 
ferrat died, and left her country involved in some troubles 
in respect of the competition for its government. The Mar- 
quis of Saluzzo pretended to it on one side, and the Lord 
Constantine, uncle to the Marchioness, claimed it on the 
other. He was a Greek as well as his niece, who was the 
King of Servia's daughter; but both of them had been ruined 
by the Turks. This Lord Constantine had fortified the 
castle of Casale, where he kept in his hands the two sons 
(the eldest of whom was scarce nine years old) of the late 
marquis, and that beautiful and discreet lady his niece, who 
died in the twenty-ninth year of her age, and was a constant 
friend to the French. Other persons pretended likewise to 
the government, and there was great contest for it before 
the king by their respective agents. The king commanded 
me to proceed thither, with instructions to settle things for 
the advantage of the young children, and the general satis- 
faction of the people ; fearing lest by these differences the 
Duke of Milan should be brought in, for the lord of that 
country was our very good ally. 

I was extremely concerned at these orders, especially as I 
had to depart before I could set the treaty of peace on foot 
again ; for I was sensible in what condition the town was. 
1 saw winter approaching, and apprehended lest the pre- 
lates * should bring the king to a new battle, in which (un- 
less mightily supplied from Switzerland) he would be pro- 
bably too weak, and if the supplies were as numerous as 
they were reported to be, it would not be safe for the king 
to venture himself in their hands; besides, the enemy were 
powerful, strongly encamped, and very well fortified. Upon 
these considerations, I presumed to tell the king that, in my 
judgment, he was about to put himself and his kingdom in 
very great hazard, upon a small and trifling occasion ; that 
the danger which he escaped at the battle of Fornovo ought 
* The Cardinal of St. Malo, and the Archbishop of Bouen. 



236 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

not to be forgotten, but that there he was under necessity, 
and here he was not. Wherefore I did humbly recommend 
him not to lose an honourable accommodation by stickling 
for the first overture ; and if he pleased to authorise me, I 
questioned not but I could make a peace without the least 
dishonour to either side. He replied that he would have me 
speak to the Cardinal ; and so I did, but he gave me strange 
unaccountable answers, expressing an inclination to fight, 
and making sure of the victory ; and he told me the Duke of 
Orleans had promised, whenever he came to the duchy of 
Milan, to give him ten thousand ducats a year for one of his 
sons. The next morning I went to wait on the king, and 
take leave of his majesty, in order to begin my journey to 
Casale (which would take me about a day and a half). I 
there met the Lord de la Trimouille, and acquainted him 
with what had passed (he being related to the king*), and 
desired his judgment whether I ought to mention the affair 
to him again ; he told me to do so by all means, for everybody 
was very desirous of peace. The king was at that time in 
the garden ; so I revived the discourse before the Cardinal, 
who told me that it was most proper for him, being an eccle- 
siastic, to begin it. I answered, if he did not, I would ; for 
I perceived the king was inclinable enough, and so were all 
that were about him. After which I took my leave ; and 
at my departure I told the Prince of Orange (who com- 
manded the army in chief), that if I began anything in that 
business, my addresses should be to him ; and so I went to 
Casale, where I was well received by all that family, and 
found them nearly all in favour of the Lord Constantine, as 
a fitter [person for the guardianship of the children ; for he 
was incapable of the succession, to which the Marquis of 
Saluzzo pretended a right. For several days together, I 
assembled both the nobility, clergy, and townsmen, and, at 
the request of most of them, I declared that it was my 
master's pleasure that the Lord Constantine should be con- 
tinued in the government ; for, considering the king's forces 
on that side of the mountains, and the affection that country 
had always retained to the court of France, I presumed they 
would not contradict the king's desires. 



o 



* By his wife, Gabrielle de Bourbon, who was a daughter of the Count 
de Moutpensior. 



1495.] CONDITION OF THE FRENCH ARMY. 237 

I had scarce been three days at Casale before there 
arrived a gentleman from the Marquis of Mantua, captain- 
general of the Venetians, with compliments of condolence 
upon the death of the late Marchioness ; for he was related 
to the family of Montferrat. This gentleman was steward 
of the marquis's household, and he and I by degrees 
began to consult how we might prevent the battle that was 
likely to occur shortly ; for all things tended to war, and the 
king was encamped not far from Vercelli ; though, to speak 
the truth, he had only passed the river, and let his army 
encamp there, which was but ill-provided with tents and 
pavilions, for they had brought but lew with them, and those 
few were lost; besides, the ground was moist, — for winter 
was coming on, and the country is but low. 

The king lay but one night in the camp, and returned 
next morning to the town ; hut the Prince of Orange re- 
mained with the army, and with him the Counts of Foix 
and Vendome*, the latter of whom fell into a dysentery and 
died, to the unspeakable sorrow of the whole army, for he 
was a young gentleman of great valour and conduct, and 
came thither post upon the report of a coming battle ; bnt 
he was not with the king in his expedition into Italy. 
There were likewise the Marshal de Gie, and several other 
commanders, but their principal force was the Swiss, who 
had been in Italy with the king ; for the French, being so 
near home, were very unwilling to stay any longer in the 
camp, and several had already left it, some with leave and 
others without it. From Vercelli to Novara was ten good 
Italian miles, that is six French leagues ; the country was 
flat and dirty, with ditches on both sides the road, much 
deeper than those in Flanders : in winter the roads are full 
of mud, and in summer of dust. Between our army and 
Novara there was a little town called Borgo, which we had 
taken possession of; and the enemy had another about the 
same distance from their camp, called Cameri : but the waters 
being up, the passage was very difficult from one army to 
the other. 

But as I was saying, the steward of the Marquis of Man- 
tua's household and 1 continued our conferences. I gave him 
several reasons why his master ought to be cautious of com- 

* Francois de Bourbon, Count of Vendome, born in 1470, died on 
the 3rd of October, 1495. 



238 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

ing to a battle. I put him in mind of the danger he had 
lately escaped, and that he would expose himself for a people 
who had never rewarded him for services he had done ; and 
that, therefore, his wisest method would be to endeavour an 
accommodation, and I promised to do all that lay in my 
power to promote it. He replied that his master was well 
enough inclined, but that it would be necessary (as I had 
received intimation before) that we should make the first 
overture, because they looked upon their alliance, which 
consisted of the Pope, the King of the Romans, the King of 
Spain, and the Duke of Milan, to be of greater dignity than 
a single monarch. I answered that this punctilio was idle 
and trifling, and that in justice our king was to be preferred, 
because he was there in person, and the confederates were 
represented only by their lieutenants. But I offered, if he 
pleased, that he and I as mediators would set the treaty on 
foot, provided I could be assured his master would continue 
it, and observe it ; and finally it was concluded that I 
should send a trumpeter to their army the next morning, and 
that I should write to Signor Luca Pisano and Signor Mel- 
chior Trevisano, the two Venetian proveditors, or commis- 
sioners appointed to advise their generals and superintend 
the affairs of the army. 

In pursuance of what we concluded, I wrote to the prove- 
ditors the substance of what I had mentioned before to the 
Marquis of Mantua's steward ; and I had a fair opportunity 
to offer my mediation, upon account of the agreement made 
between us at my departure from Venice. Besides, I knew the 
king was desirous of peace, and I thought it necessary, — for 
there are always enough persons to perplex and exasperate 
an affair, but few that combine the good fortune and courage 
necessary to compose so great a difference, or to endure so 
many hard words as are said by the plenipotentiaries in 
such negotiations ; for in great armies there is sure to be a 
variety of opinions. The proveditors were glad of the news, 
and sent me word I should have an answer very suddenly, 
for they sent post to Venice for instructions ; and having a 
speedy answer from the Signory, a count belonging to the 
Duke of Ferrara was sent to our camp. The Duke of Fer- 
rarra had one son in the Duke of Milan's service, and 
another in the king's. The count also was in the Duke of 



1 495. J PROPOSALS FOR PEACE. 239 

Milan's service, his name was Albertini* ; but his pretence 
of coming into our army was to visit Signor John James di 
Trivulce, and to inquire after one of his sons who was then 
in that captain's service. He made application to the 
Prince of Orange, according to the agreement between the 
steward and myself, and told him he had a commission from 
the Marquis of Mantua, and the proveditors and other cap- 
tains, to desire a passport for the marquis and fifty horse, to 
meet and confer with such persons as the king should de- 
pute ; and he acknowledged that in reason they ought to 
make the first overture to the king, or such as he should 
appoint, and that they would pay him that honour ; and then 
he desired he might have a private conference with his 
majesty, which was granted him, and in which he advised 
him not to set any treaty on foot, assuring him that their 
army was in great consternation, and would break up in a 
very short time. By these words he seemed desirous to ob- 
struct that peace which he was sent to promote, though his 
public commission was as you have heard. Signor John 
James di Trivulce was present when he gave the king this 
advice, and being a great enemy to the Duke of Milan, he 
had no mind to the peace ; but, above all, no man was so 
averse to it as Count Albertini's master, the Duke of Fer- 
rara, who desired the continuation of the war upon account 
of an old pique against the Venetians, who had taken from 
him several territories, as the Polesan and others ; and this 
duke was therefore come himself into the army of the Duke 
of Milan, who had married his daughter. 

As soon as the king had heard what the count had to 
offer, his majesty sent for me, and it was warmly debated 
whether a passport should be granted or not. Those who 
were against the peace (as Signor John James di Trivulce 
and others, who thought themselves great favourers of the 
interest of the Duke of Orleans,) were for fighting by all 
means ; but they were, most of them, churchmen, and not 
like to be in the battle, and they pretended to have certain 
intelligence that the enemy must suddenly raise the siege, 
or be starved to death. Others objected (and I was of that 
number) that we should be starved first ; that the enemy 
were in their own country, and their power too great to be 
* Albertino Boschetto. — Guazzo, p. 218. 



240 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

bo easily destroyed ; and that such counsel proceeded from 
persons who had a mind to engage us in their quarrels, and 
set us fighting purely to gratify their own revenge and ara» 
bition. Yet, for all this, the passport was granted and sent, 
signifying, that the next day at two o'clock in the afternoon, 
the Prince of Orange, the Marshal de Gie, the Lord de 
Piennes, and myself, with our retinue, should be between 
Borgo and Cameri, near a certain tower, in which they 
had a guard, and that there we should be ready to enter 
into a conference. At the appointed hour, we went to the 
place under a strong guard. The Marquis of Mantua and 
a Venetian who had the command of their Estradiots *, came 
to us, and in very civil language told us, that for their 
part they were desirous of peace. For better convenience 
of treating, it was agreed, that the next day some of their 
deputies should come into our camp, and that the day after 
some of ours should go into theirs, which was done. The 
next morning there came to us Signor Francisco Bernardino 
Visconti on behalf of the Duke of Milan, and a secretary 
from the Marquis of Mantua. On our side, besides the 
persons above mentioned, we had added to us the Cardinal 
of St. Malo, and we began to treat. They demanded Novara, 
in which the Duke of Orleans was besieged ; and we in- 
sisted upon having Genoa, saying, it was feudatory to the 
king, and that the Duke of Milan had confiscated it. They 
excused themselves as to that, assuring us that their master 
had done nothing against the king except in his own de- 
fence ; that the Duke of Orleans had taken Novara from 
them by force, and begun the war with our king's forces ;' 
and that therefore they thought their masters would be 
hardly persuaded to agree to these demands, but in any thing 
else would be ready to comply. Our conferences lasted two 
days, after which they returned to their camp, whither the 
Marshal de Gie, the Lord de Piennes, and myself, were sent 
after them to press for the restitution of Genoa. We would 
have been content that Novara should have been sur- 
rendered to the forces of the King of the Romans, which 
were commanded by Signor George di Pietraplantaf , the 

* According to Guicciardini (i. 336.) his name was Bernardo Con- 
tarino. 

f This is the Herberstein mentioned in a previous note, whose nam* 
is thus Italianised by Guicciardini also. 



1495. J NEGOCIATIONS AT VEKCELLI. 241 

Lord Frederic Capellare, and another called Monsieur Hans ; 
for we found it could not be relieved without a battle, which 
we had no great inclination to venture ; and by this means 
(as we pretended) we proposed to acquit ourselves very 
honourably to the emperor, of whom the whole duchy of 
Milan is held as a fief. Several goings and comings there 
were between our camp and theirs, but we came to no man- 
ner of conclusion. I continued constantly with them by 
the king's direction (who was unwilling the treaty should 
be broken off) ; and, at last, our deputies came to them 
again, and with us we had the President de Gannay, and 
one Monsieur de Morvilliers, Bailiff of Amiens, to speak 
with them in Latin, (for till then I had conducted the con- 
ferences in bad Italian,) and to draw up the articles. Our 
manner of treating was to go to the duke's quarters, and he, 
in complaisance, used to meet us with his duchess at the 
end of a gallery, and then sent us all before him into his 
chamber, where there were two great rows of chairs ready 
set, as close as was convenient, and opposite to each other. 
They placed themselves on one side, and we sate on the other. 
The first on their side was the commissioner for the Kinsr 
of the Romans, then the Spanish ambassador, then the 
Marquis of Mantua, after him the two proveditors, then 
the Venetian ambassador, then the Duke and Duchess of 
Milan, and last of all the ambassador of Ferrara. On their 
side none spoke but the Duke of Milan, and on our side 
nobody but one. It is not our method to discourse with 
that sedateness of temper which they do, for sometimes two 
or three of us were speaking at a time ; but the duke always 
interrupted us with, " Hold, gentlemen, one to one." As we 
were obliged to digest all into articles, whatever was agreed 
upon was immediately put into writing by one of our secre- 
taries for us, and by another of theirs for them ; and this 
was read aloud by the secretaries, one in Italian, and the 
other in French ; and this was done again at our next meet- 
ing, that we might see whether any thing had been changed ; 
and it is a good way to dispatch any affair of importance. 
This treaty was in progress about a fortnight or longer; 
but the first day of our conference it was concluded that the 
Duke of Orleans might have liberty to come out of Novara, 
to which end a cessation of arms was agreed upon for tha* 
vol. ii. a 



242 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1495. 

day, and continued from day to day till the conclusion of 
the peace; and for surety for the passage of the Duke of 
Orleans, the Marquis of Mantua delivered himself as a 
hostage into the hands of the Count de Foix ; and he did it 
voluntarily, and more to give us pleasure than from any 
fear; yet first they made us swear that we were proceeding 
with sincerity and bona fides in the treaty of peace, and 
that we did not do it merely to deliver the duke out of 
danger. 



Ch. XVIT — How the Duke of Orleans and his Army were delivered 
upon Terms of Accommodation from the dire Misery they suffered 
during their being besieged in Novara ; and of the Arrival of the 
Swiss that came to the Relief of the King and the said Duke of Or- 
leans. — 1495. 

The Marshal de Gie went into the town of Novara, with 
other commissioners deputed by the Duke of Milan, and 
dismissed the Duke of Orleans, and some few of his attend- 
ants, to their very great satisfaction. Those who were in the 
place were so pressed with hunger and sickness, that the 
marshal was forced to leave his nephew Monsieur de Rome- 
fort* as an hostage, promising they should all be at liberty to 
depart within three days. You have heard how the Bailiff 
of Dijon had been sent into Switzerland to raise five thou- 
sand men in all the cantons ; but when the Duke of Orleans 
marched out of Novara they were not arrived ; and it was 
well they were not, for had they joined our army, certainly 
(at least in my judgment) we should have fought a battle ; 
but if we had been sure that their number would be far 
greater than we expected, we could not have stayed till 
their arrival, by reason of the extreme famine in the town, 
where two thousand people were already dead, some with 
hunger, some with disease, and the rest were so lean and 
meagre they looked more like dead than living people ; and, 
truly, I believe never men endured more misery (unless, 
perhaps, at the siege of Jerusalem). All which had been 

* Louis de Eohau, Lord of Montaubau aud Remefort. 



1495."] EVACUATION OF NOVARA. 243 

prevented, if they had been so prudent as to have brought 
in all the corn and provisions about the town upon their 
first coming into it: had they acted so wisely they had 
never plunged themselves into those exigencies, for the 
enemy would have been obliged to have abandoned the siege, 
and to have marched shamefully off. 

Some three or four days after the Duke of Orleans had 
left the town, it was agreed on both sides that the whole 
garrison should march out ; and the Marquis of Mantua, and 
the Lord Galeas di San Severino, (who commanded both the 
Venetians and the Duke of Milan's army,) had orders to see 
them safely conducted away; which was performed, and the 
town left in the hands of the inhabitants, under an oath not 
to deliver it either to the French or the Italians till the con- 
clusion of a general peace. Only thirty men were put into 
the castle, who were supplied with provisions by the Duke 
of Milan, for money, and they were never to have more pro- 
vision at a time than was sufficient for one single day. No 
man that did not see it, can conceive the poverty of the gar- 
rison that marched out. They had few or no horses left, for 
most of them were eaten ; and of the five thousand men 
that marched out, scarcely six hundred were able to defend 
themselves ; they fell down frequently in the road as they 
inarched along, and the enemy were forced to help them up 
again. 1 know I saved fifty of them, at the cost of a crown, 
not far from the little castle called Cameri, which was in the 
enemy's possession, by lodging them in a garden, and giving 
them warm broth, so that but one of them died. Upon the 
way (it being ten miles between Novara and Vercelli) four 
more of them died. The king (as a token of his compassion) 
caused eight hundred francs to be distributed amongst those 
who came to Vercelli, as a benevolence in addition to their 
pay, which was paid to a farthing, both to the living and 
the dead, and particularly to the Swiss, of whom there were 
near four hundred dead ; yet, notwithstanding all the care 
that could be taken of them, about thirty of them died in 
Vercelli, some with eating too much, others by diseases, and 
some on the dunghills of the town. 

About the time that all of them had evacuated the town, 
except the thirty left in the castle (and of these one or other 
came away every day), the Swiss arrived, to the number 

B3 



244 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

of eight or ten thousand, in our camp, in which we had 
ulready about two thousand who had served in our expedi- 
tion to Naples. There were also ten thousand more, but 
they were quartered at some distance from Vercelli ; for the 
kinc was advised not to suffer the conjunction of two such 
treat bodies, which would have amounted together to 
wenty-two thousand men, the greatest number (I think) 
that ever came out of their country at one time ; and I have 
been informed by those that were well acquainted with the 
affairs of Switzerland, that they scarce left any fighting men 
behind them ; and those who did come, came for the most 
part, in spite of our teeth, and their wives and children 
would also have come along with them, had we not set 
guards upon the passes in Piedmont on purpose to stop 
them. It may be demanded whether this extraordinary 
alacrity proceeded from any extraordinary affection ; for 
King Louis XL had done them many good offices, and con- 
tributed much to make them a reputation in the world. In- 
deed there were some old soldiers who had a respect for the 
memory of King Louis ; and some of their officers were 
above seventy-two years old, and had been captains in the 
wars against Charles Duke of Burgundy ; but the chief mo- 
tives that induced them to leave their own country were 
avarice and poverty. To speak truth, all their best men 
came to us ; and such a number of brave fellows I had never 
seen before together in my life ; and to me it seemed im- 
possible to conquer them, unless by cold, famine, or some 
other distress. 

But to return to the principal point of our treaty. The 
Duke of Orleans having lived eight or ten days at his ease 
and pleasure, and being attended by all sorts of people, was 
told that it had been stated, as some diminution to his honour, 
that such a numerous garrison as he had in Novara should 
have been reduced to such necessities; upon which he began 
to talk of fighting again, and one or two that were about 
him encouraged him to it. Monsieur de Ligny and the 
Archbishop of Rouen were highly for his interest ; and some 
mean persons bribed thirty of the Swiss to come of them- 
selves and offer the enemy battle ; but without any reason, 
»or the Duke of Orleans had only thirty men left in the 
*■*(!«, and there was no further occasion to fight, for the 



1495.] PEACE OF VERCELLI. 243 

king pretended no quarrel of his own, but had come thither 
only to rescue the duke and his friends ; besides the enemy 
were very powerful, and it was impossible to attack them 
in their camp; for besides the natural strength of the place, 
they were strongly entrenched, all the ditches were full of 
water, and there were no forces but ours to give them any 
disturbance, as no sallies could be expected out of the town. 
Their army consisted of two thousand eight hundred men- 
at-arms barbed, five thousand light horse, and eleven thou- 
sand five hundred Germans commanded by good officers 
(as Signor George di Pietraplanta, Count Frederic Capellare, 
and Monsieur Hans), besides a great number of foot ; so that 
to talk of attacking them in their entrenchments, or beating 
them so easily, was but a rhodomontade, and spoken in 
flattery. Another great dread we had, and that was, lest 
the Swiss should join in one body, and seize upon the king 
and all the chief officers of his army (who were not able to 
resist their power), and carry them into their own country ; 
and of this there was some appearance, as you will see by 
the conclusion of the peace. 



Ch. XVIIT. — How Peace was concluded between the King and the 
Duke of Orleans on the one Part, and the League on the other; and 
of the Conditions and Articles contained in that Treaty of Peace. — 
1495. 

The debate about this affair grew at last so fierce amongst 
us, that, in the heat of argument, the Duke of Orleans 
gave the Prince of Orange the lie ; but at last, the Marshal 
de Gie, the Lord de Piennes, the President Gannay, the 
Lord de Morvilliers, the Vidame of Chartres*, and I, re- 
turned to the enemy's camp, and concluded a peace f, though 
by several indications we judged it unlikely to continue 
long ; but we were under a necessity of doing it, both in re- 
spect of the season of the year, our want of money, and that 

* Jacques de Vendome, Prince of Chabanois, and Vidame of 
Chartres. 
f Dated at Vercelli, on the 10th of October, 1495. 

u 3 



246 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

we might come off honourably in the business ; to which 
end the peace was concluded and engrossed, so that it might 
be published throughout the world, which was done after- 
wards by the king's express order in council, and in the pre- 
sence of the Duke of Orleans. The substance of it was, that 
the Duke of Milan should serve the king against all op- 
posers ; that, at his own proper charge, the Duke of Milan 
should fit out two ships for the relief of the castles of Naples, 
which still held out for the king ; that the next year (in case 
the king made a new invasion upon that kingdom), he should 
furnish him with three ships, and assist him in person, and 
give free passage to his troops; that in case the Venetians 
did not accept the said peace within two months' time, but 
continued to assist the House of Aragon, the duke should 
then take part with the King of France against them, and 
employ his person and interest in his service, upon condition 
that whatever was taken from the enemy should be delivered 
to the duke, for which terms he was to remit to the king 
eighty thousand of the hundred and twenty-four thousand 
ducats which he had lent him in his voyage to Naples ; that 
with regard to Genoa, he should put two hostages into the 
king's hands ; that Castelleto should be committed to the 
Duke of Ferrara, as a neutral, for two years ; that the Duke 
of Milan should pay one-half of the garrison of Castelleto, 
and the king the other ; and that if it should happen that the 
duke should at any time attempt to do any thing against the 
king at Genoa, then the Duke of Ferrara was to deliver 
Castelleto to the king. He was likewise to give two hostages 
for Milan, which was performed ; and he would have done 
as much for Genoa, had not the king been in such haste to 
be gone ; but as soon as he went away, the duke made use 
of shifts and evasions to excuse himself from doing it. 

Immediately upon our return from swearing the Duke of 
Milan to observe this peace, and bringing word that the Ve- 
netians had taken two months to accept or refuse (for to 
other terms we could not persuade them), the king swore 
likewise to observe the peace ; and the next day he resolved 
to begin his march, as both he and his whole army had a 
great desire to return into France ; but that very night the 
Swiss who were in our camp began to cabal, and hold pri- 
vate consultations among the men of their several cantons, 



1495. [ CABALS OF THE SWISS RECRUITS. 24* 

beating their drums and standing to their arms (as their 
manner is when they call any councils) ; and this I was in- 
formed of by Monsieur de Lor nay, who was then (and had 
been long before) one of their chief officers, and was well 
acquainted with their language, and he gave the king intelli- 
gence of it. 

Some, proposed to seize upon the king, and all the chief 
(that is to say, the rich) officers of the army ; others went 
not so far, but moved that they should demand three months' 
pay, on the score of an old promise made them by the late 
king* that such a sum should be paid them whenever they 
came out of their own country into his service with their 
colours displayed. Others were for securing the chief mi- 
nisters about the king, without meddling with his person ; 
and this they designed to put in execution, having already 
got a great number of their own troops into the town ; but 
before they could come to an agreement among themselves, 
the king had left for Trinot (which is a town belonging to 
the Marquis of Montferrat). In this they were much in the 
wrong, for there was never but one month's pay promised 
them, and they had. done nothing for that. At length, this 
troublesome affair was adjusted; but first, those Swiss who 
were with us in the expedition to Naples, had seized upon 
the Bailiff of Dijon and Monsieur de Lornay (who com- 
manded them all along,), and pressed hard for a fortnight's 
pay before they marched ; but the rest insisted upon pay for 
three months, which in all amounted to five hundred thou- 
sand francs, for the raising of which they took hostages ; 
and to this they were animated by the French themselves, 
who were averse to the peace ; and of this the Prince of 
Orange was informed by one of their captains, and he im- 
mediately informed the king of it. 

The king, upon his arrival at Trino, sent the Marshal de 
Gie, the President Gannay, and myself, to the Duke of Mi- 
lan, to desire that he would come to him thither. We used 
several arguments to persuade him, and told him it would be 
a great confirmation of the peace ; but he gave as many to 
the contrary, and excused himself upon a proposition which 

* By a treaty made with them in 1474. — Lenglet, iii. 369. 
f The king arrived at Triuo on Sunday, the 11th of October, 1495. 

a 4 



248 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

Monsieur de Ligny had formerly made to have him seized 
upon, when he was with the king at Pavia, and upon certain 
expressions which the Cardinal of St. Malo had used, who^ 
at that time, was the only minister who had influence with 
the king. It is certain that several idle words had been 
spoken by some about the court, but yet the king had a great 
desire to cultivate a friendship with him. The Duke of 
Milan was at a place called Bolia*, and consented to a con- 
ference, provided it might be upon some river, with a bar- 
rier between them. - !" As soon as the king had received his 
answer, he removed to Quiers J, where he staid but a night 
or two, and then marched away to cross the mountains, 
having despatched me to Venice, and others to Genoa, to see 
the ships equipped which the Duke of Milan was to lend 
him ; but the duke put the king to great expense in pre- 
parations, and at last would not let them go ; but instead of 
keeping his promise, he sent two ships to the enemy. 



Ch. XIX. — How the King sent the Lord of Argenton to Venice again, 
to invite the Venetians to accept the Terms of Peace that were 
offered, which the Venetians refused ; and of the Tricks and Jug- 
glings of the Duke of Milan. — 1495. 

The business of my embassy to Venice at this time was to 
know whether they would accept the peace, and subscribe 
to three articles. The first was to restore Monopoli, which 
they had lately taken from us ; the second was to withdraw 
the Marquis of Mantua and his forces out of the kingdom of 
Kaples, and from the service of King Ferrand ; and the. 
third was to declare that King Ferrand was not compre- 
hended in their recent league, in which mention was made 
only of the Pope, the King of the Romans, the King of Spain, 
and the Duke of Milan. Upon my arrival at Venice they 

* Bobhio, the chief town of the province of that name in the Sar- 
dinian territories. 

f Charles VIII. refused to consent to this proposition, regarding su«h 
precautions as an insult to his honour. — Gdicciardini, i. 350. 

X The king arrived at Chieri on Sunday, the ISth of October, 1495. 



1495.] EMBASSY TO VENICE. 249 

received me very honourably, but not quite in the same 
manner as when I was there first, — for then we were at 
peace, but now at war with each other. I delivered my 
message to the Doge of Venice, who complimented me highly, 
and told me I was very welcome; and that he would consult 
with the Senate, and in a short time return me an answer. 

For three days together they appointed solemn processions 
to be made, public alms to be given, and sermons to be 
preached all over the city, beseeching God of His grace tc 
direct them in their consultations, which, as I was informed, 
was no more than what they frequently do upon extraor- 
dinary occasions. And truly, in religious affairs, and in the 
beautifying and adorning their churches, it is a city of the 
greatest reverence and decency that ever I saw; and in 
these things I esteem them equal to the Romans, and I ques- 
tion not but that their Signory derives much of its grandeur 
from this fact, and it is worthy rather to be augmented than 
lessened. But to the business of my embassy. I waited a 
fortnight before I had an answer, and then it was a refusal 
of all I had demanded. They told me they had no war with 
the king, and that what they had done was only to assist 
and support the Duke of Milan, who was their ally, and whom 
the king had a desire to destroy ; yet they permitted their 
Doge to talk with me alone, and he offered very advantageous 
terms, which were, that King Ferrand should do homage to 
our king for the kingdom of Naples, by the Pope's consent ; 
that King Ferrand should pay our king a yearly tribute of 
fifty thousand ducats, besides a sum of money down, which 
they would lend (intending to have the towns of Brindisi, 
Otranto, Trani, and others in Apulia, put into their hands 
for security for the said loan) ; and that King Ferrand should 
deliver up or leave the king in possession of some towns or 
places in Apulia for his security (and they meant Tarento, 
which our king has still in his hands*), and (if he pleased) 
two or three more, which they offered should be on that 
side, because it was farthest from them, though they pre- 
tended it was for the convenience of his designs against the 
Turk, of which our king had talked much at his first en- 
trance into Italy, declaring he undertook that enterprise for 

* Tarento surrendered to Frederic King of Naples, in 1496. 



250 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495. 

no other end but to be nearer and more ready to invade him; 
but it was an evil invention, a mere fraud, and we cannot 
conceal our thoughts from God. The Doge of Venice of- 
fered besides, that if our king would attempt any thing 
against the Turk, he should have free passage for his troops, 
through all those places ; and all Italy should contribute : 
the King of the Romans would make a diversion on his side ; 
and the king, in conjunction with them, would be able to 
govern all Italy, in such a manner as to compel any of the 
princes as should refuse, to comply with their orders ; and 
that for their part they would assist his majesty, at their 
own charge, with a hundred galleys at sea, and five thousand 
horse on land. 

When I had my audience of leave, I told the Doge and 
Signory I would report all faithfully to the king. 1 re- 
turned by Milan, and found the Duke of Milan at Vige- 
vano, and the king's ambassador with him, who was one 
Rigault d'Oreilles*, steward to his household. The duke pre- 
tended to go a hunting, and came out to meet me (for they 
are very civil to ambassadors) and ordered me a very noble 
apartment in his castle. I begged that I might have the 
honour of a private conference with him, which at last he 
promised me, but with some signs of reluctancy. As the 
castle of Naples still held out for us, I was resolved to press 
for the ships with which he was bound to furnish us by the 
treaty at Vercelli. The ships were ready, and he was will- 
ing in appearance to send them out, but Peron de Basche 
and Stephen de Neves being at that time at Genoa on behalf 
of our king, and understanding I was at Vigevano, wrote to 
me immediately, complaining of the Duke of Milan's treacher- 
ous way of dealing, who pretended to furnish us with ships 
and had sent two against us ; that the governor of Genoa 
had told them one day that he could not suffer the ships to 
be manned with French sailors, and another, that there 
could not be above five and twenty of them permitted to be 
in any one vessel, with many such trifling excuses to pro- 
tract and gain time, till they had heard the news of the cap- 



* Rigault Poreille, Knight, Lord of Villeneuve, was steward in ordi- 
nary to Louis XI. and Charles VIII. He was appointed Bailiff of 
Chartres in 1496, and died on the 15th of September, 1517. 



1495.] TREACHERY OF THE DUKE OF MILAN. 251 

ture of the castle of Naples, in which the Duke of Milan 
knew there was not provision enough for above a month, 
and that the king's forces in Provence would be unable to 
raise the siege without the assistance of those two ships, for 
the enemy had blocked up the castle by sea with a great 
fleet furnished by the Venetians and the King of Spain as 
well as by themselves. 

I was three days with the duke ; the first he spent most in 
conference with me, and seemed to be angry that I was not 
satisfied with his answer about the ships, to which he added 
that though at the treaty of Vercelli he had promised to 
serve, the king with two ships, yet he had never promised 
that they should be manned with French. I replied, that in 
my judgment that excuse was but weak and trifling, for if 
he should lend me a good mule with which to pass the moun- 
tains, what favour would it be if he should oblige me to lead 
her by the hand ? I should only have liberty to see her, but 
no advantage unless I had leave to mount her. After a 
long conference he conducted me into a gallery apart, where 
I took occasion to remonstrate the great pains which others 
and myself had taken about the treaty of Vercelli ; and the 
danger he would bring upon us by acting so contrary, and 
causing the king to lose his castles in Naples, which would 
be the total loss of the kingdom, and an occasion of per- 
petual animosity between my master and him, and I offered 
him the principality of Tarento, and the duchy of Bari, 
which duchy was already his own. I represented to him 
the danger he brought upon himself and all Italy by con- 
senting that the Venetians should hold those places in 
Apulia; and he confessed that what I had urged was true, 
especially in relation to the Venetians, but told me plainly 
at last he could repose no confidence in our king. 

Alter this discourse I took my leave of the Duke of 
Milan, who conducted me a league on my way home, and 
even at my departure he invented a more cunning lie (if it 
be decent to use such an expression towards a prince) than 
any of his former falsehoods. Perceiving I was melancholy, 
he told me on a sudden (as a man who had quite changed 
his resolutions) that he would show himself my friend at 
the last, and do that which should make me acceptable to my 
master ; and he promised me that the next day he would 



252 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1495 

send the Lord Galeas (who was the fittest man for that pur- 
pose) to see his ships at Genoa equipped and sent away to 
join our fleet; that he would do the king that service so as 
to save his castle, and by consequence the whole kingdom of 
^Naples (and if he had performed his promise, this would have 
been the result) ; and that when the ships had sailed he 
would give me an account of it by a letter under his own 
hand, that the king might have the first news of it from my- 
self, and be sensible of the service which I had done him, 
adding also that his letters should overtake me before I got 
to Lyons. Big with these hopes I departed, and continued 
my journey over the mountains. I knew the man, and durst 
not be too confident; yet I never heard any courier behind 
me, but I fancied he was bringing me those letters. I passed 
on till I came to Chambery, where I found the Duke of 
Savoy, who received me very graciously, and obliged me to 
stay a whole day with him. From thence I proceeded to 
Lyons (but no letters overtook me) to give the king an 
account of my transactions ; for he was tliere at that time, 
giving himself up wholly to feastings, jousts, and other gay 
entertainments, without the least regard to anything else. 

Those who had been enemies to the peace of Vercelli were 
extremely pleased with the Duke of Milan's prevarication ; 
and indeed they had reason, for their authority was increased 
by it, and I was traduced, which in the like cases is an ordi- 
nary thing in the courts of princes. 

I was very melancholy and angry : I informed the king of 
all I had done, and showed him in writing the offers which 
the Venetians had made him ; but he seemed not to value 
them much, and the Cardinal of St. Malo, who at that time 
had the sole administration of affairs, valued them still less. 
However, I pressed the king again, believing it better to 
accept that offer than lose all ; for I saw nobody about him 
fit to manage such an important affair, and those who were 
most able were never consulted, or at least as seldom as pos- 
sible. The king himself was inclinable enough to do it, but 
loth to disphase those to whom he had committed his affairs, 
especially those who managed his treasury, namely, the Car- 
dinal, his brothers and relations. This is a fine example for 
princes. It is necessary that they should take upon them- 
selves the conduct of their own affairs, and not only call 



1495." AFFAIRS OF NAPLES. 253 

others to council upon occasion, but give them equal autho- 
rity and countenance in certain matters ; for if any minister 
of state be grown so great as to became terrible to the rest, 
and to manage the whole aifairs of a kingdom according to 
his own will and pleasure (of which sort King Charles VIII. 
was never without one) that minister is king in reality, and 
his master is ill served, as King Charles was always by his 
ministers, who did their own business well enough, but 
neglected his, to his great prejudice and dishonour. 



Ch. XX. — How the King forgot those that were left behind at Naples, 
upon his Return into France ; and of the Dauphin's Death, which 
was a great Affliction to the King and Queen. — 1495. 

I arrived at Lyons on the 12th of December, in the year 
1495 ; and there I found the king and his whole army. The 
king had been absent on his expedition about a year and two 
months.* The castles of Naples still held out for him, as 
you have heard. The Lord de Montpensier, his lieutenant 
in that kingdom, was at Salerno with the prince of that 
place ; the Lord d'Aubigny was in Calabria, where he had 
done signal service, though under a long fit of sickness ; the 
Lord Gracian des Guerres was in Abruzzo, Don Julian at 
Mount St. Angelo, and George de Suilly at Tarento ; but all 
of them most miserably poor, and so far abandoned by our 
court that they could seldom or never receive letters or news 
out of France, and when they did, it was nothing but shams 
and promises without effect ; for (as I said before) the king 
did nothing of himself. If they had been supplied with 
money in time, even a sixth part of what was spent after- 
wards to no purpose would have saved that kingdom from 
being lost ; for at length when all was lost, they sent them 
forty thousand crowns as part of a year's pay, and yet if 
that had arrived but a month sooner, the calamities and dis- 
graces which they endured had never befallen them, and 

* The king started from Grenoble on the 13th of August, 1494, and 
arrived in that town on his return, ou the 27 th of October, 1495. 



254 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMM1NES. [1495. 

their divisions had been prevented ; all which was occa- 
sioned through the negligence of the king, who managed 
nothing himself, and would not so much as hear anybody 
that came from them, and those whom he employed were 
careless and inexperienced, and I think some of them held a 
correspondence with the Pope ; so that in appearance God 
had forsaken our king, and taken away that grace with 
which He had hitherto conducted him. 

The king had not been at Lyons above two months, or 
thereabouts, when he received news that his only son, the 
dauphin, lay dangerously ill; and three days after, letters 
came that gave an account of his death.* The king was 
extremely concerned at first, as he ought to have been out 
of paternal affection ; yet his sorrow soon wore off. But 
the queen (who was Anne, Duchess of Bretagne) took it 
more to heart than perhaps any other woman would have 
done, and her sorrow remained longer upon her ; and I am 
afraid, that besides the natural affliction of mothers upon 
the loss of their children, her mind misgave her, and she 
was apprehensive that some greater misfortune would soon 
happen to her. The king (as I said before) having got over 
his own grief, had a great desire to give the queen some 
diversion at a ball of young gentlemen, which the king had 
appointed ; among the rest of the dancers, the Duke of 
Orleans was one, who was at that time about thirty-four 
years oldf ; but he behaved himself so, that it was visible 
to all the court he rejoiced at the dauphin's death, for he 
was (after him) next heir to the crown. Wherefore the king 
and he never spoke to one another for a long time after. 
The dauphin was about three years old when he died, yet 
a very handsome and precocious child, and not alarmed at 
those things wherewith children are usually frighted ; for 
which reason his father was the sooner recovered from his 
sorrow, as being fearful already lest he should have grown 
too fast, and lest, if his courage increased with his years, 
he would have entrenched upon his father's power and 
authority ; for the king was not commanding either in 
person or understanding, but of the mildest and best dispo- 
sition in the world. By this example we may see to what 

* He died on the 6th of December, 1495. 
f He was bora on the 27th of June, 14G2. 



1495.] ON THE SORROWS OP PRINCES. 255 

miseries great kings and princes, who grow jealous of their 
own children, are subject. His father, Louis XI, though 
so wise and virtuous a prince, was yet fearful of Charles 
VIIL, but he provided prudently against the worst, and 
left him the crown when he was but fourteen years old. 
Louis XI. had been no less terrible to his father Charles 
VIL, for at the age of thirteen years he was in arms, and 
confederated against him with certain of the nobility, upon 
some court-quarrels* and complaints against the govern- 
ment, (and this King Louis has often told me himself,) yet 
these troubles lasted not long. But when he came to man's 
estate, he had great controversy with his father Charles VIL, 
retired into Dauphiny, and from thence into Flanders, leav- 
ing Dauphiny to his father,. as has been observed at the 
beginning of these Memoirs j, in relating the reign of 

Louis XL 

No creature is exempt from adversity ; every man eats his 
bread in pain and sorrow : God Almighty promised it to 
our first parents, and he has performed it very faithfully 
ever since to all people. Yet there are degrees and distinc- 
tions of sorrow, and the troubles and vexations of the mind 
are greater than those of the body ; the anxiety of the wise 
is of one sort, and that of the fool of another, but that of 
the fool is the greater of the two (though some are of a 
contrary opinion) because he is less capable of comfort. 

The poor people, who labour, drudge and toil to maintain 
themselves and their children, and pay their taxes and sub- 
sidies to their princes, would have but little comfort in this 
world if princes and great lords were sensible of nothing 
but pleasure, and they of nothing but sorrow and misery* 
But the thing is quite otherwise; for, should I endeavour to 
give an account of the sufferings and disorders which (for 
these thirty years) I have seen endured by persons of quality 
of both sexes, it would swell to a large volume. I do not 
mean such persons as Boccace mentions in his bookj, but 
such as raise the envy of all people, by their riches, health, 

* The Pragaerie. See Book VI. chap. 12. 

f See Book I. chap. 10. 

I The reference is here to Boccaccio's treatise, "De Casibus virorum 
et fcemmarum illustrium," of which two French translations existed at 
the time when Commines wrote. 



256 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMM1NES. [1495. 

and prosperity. Those who have not conversed with them 
so much as I have done, believe the condition of great per- 
sons to be the happiest in the world ; but I have seen their 
troubles and disquiets, aroused upon such trifling occasions, 
as persons at a distance could hardly believe ; an idle ap- 
prehension or an extravagant report disturbs them ex- 
tremely ; and this is the secret distemper that reigns in the 
courts of great princes, from whence many mischiefs arise 
to the sovereign, his ministers and subjects ; and it is so 
great a shortener of life, that there is scarce a king of France 
(since the time of Charlemagne) who lived to be sixty years 
old. 

Upon this bare suspicion, when Louis XL came to be 
about that age, being sick of that disease, he concluded him- 
self already dead. His father Charles VII., who had done 
so many memorable things in France, took a fancy that his 
courtiers had a design to poison him, and upon that account 
he ate nothing. Charles VI. had his jealousies too, and 
became crazed in his understanding upon a mere report. 
Certainly, princes are guilty of great error in not examining, 
or causing other people to examine, such tales as concern 
them, though, perhaps, they may be of themselves of no 
great importance; but this would keep them from being so 
frequently current, especially if they confronted the accused 
with the informer ; by that means nothing would be reported 
but what was true. But there are some princes so stupid sis 
to promise and swear to the accusers they will never discover 
them ; and these are they who are subject to those anguishes 
and torments of mind of which I speak and who many times 
hate and injure the best ministers they have, upon the bare 
reports and calumnies of evil-minded and designing people, 
by which means they occasion great mischiefs and sorrows 
to their subjects. 



H96.] LOSS OF THE CASTLE OF NAPLES. 257 



Ch. XXI. — How the King received News of the Loss of the Castle of 
Naples; of the selling of the Towns belonging to the Florentines to 
several Persons ; of the Treaty of Atella in Apulia, much to the 
Prejudice of the French; and of the Death of Ferrand, King of 
Naples.— M9C. 

The death of the Dauphin (only son to Charles VIII. ), 
occurred about the beginning of the year 1496, and was 
the greatest loss that happened or could possibly happen to 
the king, for he had never any child afterwards that lived. 
But this misfortune came not alone ; for at the same time 
he received advice that the castle of Naples had been sur- 
rendered by those whom the Lord de Montpensier had left 
in it, under pressure of famine, and for the safety of the 
hostages, who had been delivered into the enemy's hands by 
the Lord de Montpensier. The names of the hostages were 
Monsieur d'Alegre, one of the sons of the Lord de la Marche 
d'Ardaine, one called the Lord de la Chapelle de Loudon- 
nois, and John Roquebertin, a Catalonian.* Those who 
had been in the castle were sent back again by sea. After 
this, another disgraceful accident befel him, and that was, 
that one Entragues, who was governor of the citadel of Pisa 
(which was strong, and commanded the whole town), deli- 
vered it up to the Pisans ; which was contrary to the king's 
oath, for he had sworn twice to the Florentines to deliver 
the said citadel to them, and other places, as Sarzana, Sar- 
zanello, Pietrasanta, Librefatto, and Mortron, which the 
Florentines had lent the king in his necessities, at his first 
coming into Italy, and had given him six score thousand 
ducats, of which there were not above thirty thousand in 
arrear when he returned into France, as has been men- 
tioned in another place. f In short, all these places were 
sold ; the Genoese bought Sarzana and S.irzanello, and they 
were sold by the Dastard of St. Paul. J Monsieur Entragues 

* See Book VIII. Chap. 15. 

f See Book VII. Chap. 11. 

^ The Bastard of Roussi, one of the lieutenants of the Lord d'En- 
tragues, sold Sarzana to the Lur :ese for 30,000 florins. — SinuoMOI, 
xii. 379. 

VOL. U. S 



258 THE MEMOIRS OP PHILIP DE COMMINES. ("1496. 

sold Pietrasanta to the citizens of Lucca*, and Libre- 
fatto to the Venetians, to the great dishonour of the king 
and his subjects, and to the detriment and I may say de- 
struction of the kingdom of Naples. The first oath King 
Charles VIII. took for the restitution of those places was at 
Florence, upon the high altar in the great church of St. 
John ; the second was at Asti, on his return, where the 
Florentines furnished him in his extremity with thirty 
thousand ducats, upon condition that if Pisa were surren- 
dered to them, the king should be discharged of the said 
sum, and all his jewels and pawns should be restored ; and 
they were to lend him threescore thousand more, to be paid 
down in the kingdom of Naples, to those whom his majesty 
had appointed to manage his affairs there, and to maintain 
at their charge three hundred horse for the service of our 
king in the kingdom of Naples, which were to continue 
there during the whole expedition ; but upon the selling of 
Pisa and the rest of the towns all was at an end, and the 
king was obliged to repay the thirty thousand ducats which 
the Florentines had lent him, and all this by the dis- 
obedience and whisperings of some persons about the king, 
who had given private encouragement to Entragues to act 
thus in the business. 

About the same time, in the beginning of the year 1496, 
the Lord de Montpensier, the Lord Virgil Ursini, Signer 
Camillo Vitelli, and the rest of the French officers, seeing 
that all was lost, took the field, and made themselves masters 
of several small towns ; upon which King Ferrand, the son 
of Alphonso (who was turned monk, as you have heard 
before), with the Marquis of Mantua, brother to the Lord 
Montpensier's wifef, and captain-general of the Venetians, 
drew out against them, and found the Lord de Montpensier 
in a town called Atella, situated very disadvantageously for 
the supply of provisions. The enemy immediately encamped 
on a hill, and fortified themselves as strongly as they could, 
not daring to venture a battle, for King Ferrand and the 
Marquis of Mantua had been beaten by us in every engage- 
ment they had fought. The Venetians had in pledge six 

* For twenty four thousand florins. — Sismondi, xii. 379. 
f Clara dc Gouzuga. 



1496.] MT7TINT OF THE FRENCH TROOPS AT ATELLA. 259 

towns* in Apulia, of very great importance, namely, Brin- 
disi, Trani, Gallipoli, Crana, Otranto, Monopoli, and Ta- 
rento, which last they had taken from us. And they lent some 
money to King Ferrand, but they valued the service of their 
forces in that kingdom so high, that it was computed and 
charged upon the said towns at two hundred and fifty 
thousand ducats, besides what they demanded for the forti- 
fications and other expenses in keeping them ; so that I am 
persuaded they have no intention to restore themf; for it 
is not their custom to part with anything that is for their 
convenience, as those towns are, lying all upon the Gulf of 
Venice, and making them absolute lords of it. from Venice 
to Otranto, which is nine hundred miles complete. The 
Pope, indeed, has Ancona and some few other towns between 
them ; but all must pay duties to the Venetians, or there is 
no passing through the Gulf; so that it was a great ad- 
vantage to them to have those towns in their hands, and 
perhaps more than many people imagine, for they receive 
from them great quantities of corn and oil, which are two 
commodities very beneficial and necessary for them. 

At the town of Atellaf above-mentioned, our troops 
began to mutiny, not only for provisions (which were he- 
ginning to fail), but for their pay, for there was already an 
arrear due to them for above eighteen months, and they had 
suffered very great hardships. The Swiss, too, were largely 
in arrear, but not altogether so much, for all the money the 
Lord de Montpensier could raise in that kingdom went to 
the payment of them, and yet they had above a year due to 
them. They had, however, plundered several little villages, 
and got a considerable booty. If the forty thousand ducats 
which had been so often promised had been sent in time, or 
had they known they would receive them at Florence, this 
mutiny had never happened ; but now all that was done 

* The Venetians were forced to surrender all these towns to Ferdi- 
nand the Catholic in 1509, after the bloody battle of Agradel, which 
utterly broke their power. 

■J- Atella, a town of the kingdom of Naples, lies intrenched among 
the Apennines, on the western border of the Basilieate. It is situated in 
a broad valley encompassed by a lofty amphitheatre of hill , through 
which flows a little river, tributary to the Qfanto, and watering the 
town. 

8 2 



260 THE MKMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [ 496. 

proceeded merely from despair. Several of the commanders 
have told me since, that if our men would have agreed to 
have ventured a battle, in all likelihood the victory would 
been theirs, or if they had lost it, it could not have been 
with the destruction of half so many as they lost by their 
base and dishonourable surrender. The Lords de Mont- 
pensier and Virgil Ursini would willingly have fought, and 
they died in prison, and not one of the articles of their 
treaty was observed to them. These two gentlemen accused 
the Lord de Percy (a young gentleman of Auvergne), of 
having been the occasion of their not fighting ; and the 
truth is, the Lord de Percy was an ill-conditioned and 
mutinous knight. 

There were two sorts of Germans in that army* ; one 
was the Swiss, of whom we had about one thousand five 
hundred, who had been with us from the beginning of our 
expedition, and they served us faithfully and as well as men 
could do to the very last. There was another commonly 
called Lansquenets, which is as much as to say, Companions 
of the Country, and these have a natural antipathy to the 
Swiss ; they are a collection from all the countries upon the 
Rhine, Swabia, the Pays de Vaux in Sequania, and Guelder- 
land ; and they consisted of about seven or eight hundred 
men lately sent thither, with two months' pay in advance, 
which was spent by them before they arrived. Seeing 
themselves in such danger and distress, they retained not 
that affection to us which the Swiss did, but began to hold 
parleys, and by degrees revolted to the enemy ; upon which 
and the division among our commanders, the soldiers made 
a villanous and infamous agreement, which King Ferrand 
swore to observe ; for the Marquis of Mantua took great 
care to secure the person of the Lord de Montpensier, his 
brother-in-law. 

By the said agreement they delivered themselves into the 
hands of their enemies, gave them all the artillery which be- 

* Du Bos similarly discriminates between the character of the German 
Landsknechts and the Swiss. He s-ays: " The Lansquenets were, gone- 
rally speaking, much better made men, and much better looking in their 
armour, than the Swiss infantry; but they were incapable of discipline. 
Unlike the Swiss, they paid no obedience to their commanders, and had 
no friendship for their comrades." — Ligue de Cambrat, vol. L p. 66. 



1496.] CALITULATION AT AT ELLA. 261 

longed to our king, and promised to restore nil the places 
which our king possessed in that kingdom, as well in Cala- 
bria, where the Lord d'Aubigny commanded, as in Abruzzo, 
where the Lord Gracian des Gruerres was chief; besides 
Gaeta and Tarento. Upon which terms King Ferrand 
undertook to send them into Provence by sea, and their 
bag&rage with them, which was worth little or nothing.* 
They were about five or six thousand men, and King b er- 
rand caused them to be conducted to Naples. So ignomi- 
nious an agreement had not been made before in our times, 
nor did I ever read of any like it, unless it was that which 
(as Titus Livius reports f) was made by the two Roman 
consuls with the Samnites (who are now r supposed to be the 
inhabitants of Beneventum) at a certain place upon the 
mountains, which was then called the Caudine Forks ; but 
the Romans refused to ratify and confirm' it, and sent the 
two consuls back prisoners to the enemy. 

If our army had fought and been defeated, we had not lost 
bo great a number of men as we did, for two-thirds of them 
died of famine and plague on ship-board, and in the Isle of 
Procida, whither they were sent afterwards by King Ferrand ; 
among the rest, the Lord de Montpensier died there, some 
say of poison, others of a fever, (which I rather believe). 
And I think of their whole number there came not above 
one thousand five hundred back; for of the Swiss, who 
were one thousand three hundred, there returned not above 
three hundred and fifty, and those in a weak and miserable 

* The capitulation was signed at Atella on the 21st of July, 1496. 
The terms were soon arranged with the King of Naples, who had no 
desire but to rid his country of the invaders. It was agreed that if the 
French commander did not receive assistance in thirty days, he should 
evacuate Atella, and cause every place holding under him in the kingdom 
of Naples, with all its artillery, to be surrendered to King Ferdinand, 
and that, on these conditions, his soldiers should be furnished with ves- 
sels to transport them back to France; that the foreign mercenaries 
should be permitted to return to their own homes; and that a general 
amnesty should be extended to such Neapolitans as returned to their 
allegiance in fifteen days. The reproach which Commines casts on 
the authors of this treaty is certainly unmerited, and comes with an ill 
grace from a court which was wasting in riotous indulgence the very 
resources indispensable to the brave and loyal subjects who were eudea- 
Tourmg to maintain its honour in a foreign laud. 

•{■ iu the eleventh book of his history. 

t 8 



262 THE MlCMOIfcS OF PIIIMP DE COMMINES. [1496. 

condition. These Swiss were highly to be commended for 
their loyalty ; for they would never bear arms under King 
Ferrand, but chose rather to die, as many of them did in 
the island of Procida, some of a calenture, some of other 
diseases, and some of very hunger ; for it is not to be 
imagined in what want of food they were kept on ship-board, 
and how loner. I saw some of those who returned, and 
particularly the Swiss, who brought back all their colours ; 
but by their looks one might see what they had suffered ; 
for all of them were so very sick, that when they came 
ashore to take a little air, they could not walk without being 
supported. The Lord Virgil Ursini by his articles was to 
have had liberty to return into his own country with his 
son*, and his whole regiment; but they detained him, and 
his lawful son with him (of which sort he had but one); 
yet he had a bastard who was a brave man, called Signor 
Carlo f ; but he was killed by certain Italians who were in 
his company upon the road. Had this misfortune fallen 
upon any but those who had a hand in the treaty, it had been 
a very deplorable accident 4 

* Gian Giordano Orsini, Lord of Bracciano. 

t Carlo Orsini, Count of Anguillara. 

X The misfortune? of the French, after the surrender of Atella, are 
thus described by Mr. Prescott: "Unfortunately Montpensier was un- 
able to enforce the full performance of his own treaty: as many of the 
French refused to deliver up the places entrusted to them, under the 
pretence that their authority was derived not from the viceroy but from 
the king himself. During the discussion of this point, the French troops 
were removed to Baiae and Pozzuolo and the adjacent places on the coast. 
The unhealthiness of the situation, together with that of the autumnal 
season and an intemperate indulgence in fruit and wine, soon brought 
on an epidemic among the soldiers, which swept them off in great num- 
bers. The gallant Montpensier was one of the first victims. He refused 
the earnest solicitations of his brother-in-law, the Marquis of Mantua, to 
quit his unfortunate companions, and retire to a place of safety in the 
interior. The shore was literally strewed with the bodies of the dying 
and the dead. Of the whole number of Frenchmen, amounting to not 
less than five thousand, who marched out of Atella, not more than five 
hundred ever reached their native country. The Swiss and other mer- 
cenaries were scarcely more fortunate. ' They made their way back as 
they could, through Italy,' says Giovio, ' in the most deplorable state 
of destitution and suffering; the gaze of all, and a sad example of the 
caprice of fortune.' Such was the miserable fate of that brilliant and 
formidable army which, scarcely two years before, had poured uowu 



1496.J DEATH O* KINO FERDINAND. 263 

Not long after King Ferrand had gained this honour, and 
newly married the daughter of his grandfather King 
Ferrand, whom he had by the present King of Castile's 
sister (so that his queen was sister to his own father King 
Alphonso), and who was a young lady not above thirteen or 
fourteen years old, he fell into a hectic fever, and died in a 
few days.* He left the possession of his kingdom to King 
Frederic (now reigning) who was his uncle. I cannot think 
of this marriage without horror, though there were several 
of the same nature in that family within the memory of 
man, and that within the space of thirty years. He died 
not long after that infamous treaty of Atella in the year 
1496. King Ferrand, when he was living, and Frederic 
since his accession to the throne, excused themselves, be- 
cause the Lord de Montpensier had not surrendered the 
towns that were mentioned in the articles of agreement ; 
but it was not in his power, for Gaeta and other places 
were not in his hands; and indeed though he was our king's 
lieutenant in that kingdom, yet the governors of the re- 
spective towns were not bound to surrender them at his 
command, though if they had, our king had been no great 
loser by the bargain ; for they afterwards cost a great deal 
to repair and victual : and so they were lost at last. I was 
present myself when provisions were sent, once to the casties 
of Naples, and thrice to Gaeta ; and I think I should not mis- 
take if I said those four supplies cost the king above three 
hundred thousand francs ; and yet all came to nothing. 

on the fair fields of Italy in all the insolence of expected conqjest." — > 
History of Ferdinand and Isabella, vol. ii. p. 300 

* Ferdinand died on the 7th of September, 1496, in the twenty-eighth 
year of his age, and second of his reign. He was the fifth monarch 
•who, in the brici compass of three yeats, had sat on the disastrous thxona 
of Naples. 



264 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIILIP DE COMMLNF.fl. [1496. 



Ch XXII. — How several Plots were formed (in favour of our King) by 
some of the Italian Princes, not only for the Recovery of Naples, but 
for the Destruction of the Duke of Milan; how they miscarried for 
want of Supplies; and how another Design against Genoa came to 
tl.e same ill End. — 1496. 

The king, after his return from his expedition to Naples, 
as we have already mentioned, continued a long time at 
Lyons, entertaining himself with jousts and tournaments; 
and though still desirous to regain the places he had lost in 
the kingdom of Naples, whatever it cost him, he would take 
no pains to manage his own affairs. He had very good 
intelligence in Italy, and great designs were set on foot in 
his favour; which could easily have been managed by the 
kingdom of France, which is very populous, and plentiful in 
corn, especially in Languedoc and Provence, and other coun- 
tries, out of which it is no difficult task to raise money. 
But if any other prince besides the King of France should 
embrace the cause of the Italians, and undertake their as- 
sistance, it would impoverish and exhaust him to no purpose; 
for they will do nothing without money ; nor, indeed, are 
they able to do anything, unless it be the Duke of Milan, or 
some of the great States. But a private governor or general, 
how well affected soever he may be to the House of France, 
and its pretensions to the kingdom cf Naples, or the duchy 
of Milan, let him be as devoted as he will to its interest 
(and from Italians you must expect nothing more than 
partisanship), yet he cannot serve that house long after the 
pay begins to fail ; for the poor general would be deserted 
by his own soldiers, and would himself be utterly undone ; 
because for the most part they have nothing wherewith to 
raise men, but their reputation and credit ; and the soldiers 
are paid by the general, and the general by him who employs 
him in his service. 

But as to the designs which I have mentioned as being so 
considerable, they began before the surrender of Gaeta, upon 
the Duke of Milan's not keeping his promise, and continued 
for two years after our king's return. As for the Duke of 
.Milan, he did not break his promise so much out of malice 



1496. j FRENCH INTRIGUES IN ITALY. 265 

and deceit, as through fear; for he was fearful that the king 
could not have so great an addition to his power, without 
some diminution of his own ; besides, he did not think our 
king a prince of any firmness or resolution. At length it 
was concluded that the Duke of Orleans should march to 
Asti with a considerable body of forces; and I saw him and 
his troops ready to set out. We were secure of the Duke 
of Ferrara with five hundred men-at-arms and two thousand 
foot (though he was the Duke of Milan's father-in-law); 
for he joined with us to preserve himself against the danger 
he was in between the Duke and the Venetians, who not 
long previously (as I have said before*) had taken from 
him the the Polesan, and endeavoured all they could to ruin 
him : upon which account he preferred his own and his 
children's safety before the friendship of his son-in-law ; 
and perhaps he was of opinion that his son-in-law would, by 
his mediation, come to some agreement with the king, when 
he found himself in danger. We had also engaged the 
Marquis of Mantua on our side, who had been, and was at 
that time general for the Venetians ; but they were so 
jealous of him, and he so dissatisfied with them, that he re- 
mained with three hundred men-at-arms with his father-in- 
law the Duke of Ferrara, for his wife was sister to the 
Duchess of Milan, and the Duke of Ferrara's daughter. 
Signor John Hentivoglio (who was governor, and as it were 
Prince of Bologna,) was to have provided a hundred and 
fifty men-at-arms, besides the horse and foot which his two 
sons were to have brought with them, and his country was 
well situated for an attack on the Duke of Milan. The 
Florentines, who saw they were utterly undone, and were 
afraid they should be dispossessed of Pisa and the rest of 
their towns, unless they exerted themselves, and did some- 
thing extraordinary in this critical juncture of affairs, agreed 
to assist us with eight hundred men-at-arms, and five thou- 
sand foot, and to maintain them at their own expense ; and 
they had six months' pay ready in bank. The Ursini and 
the Prefect of Romef (who was brother to the Cardinal of 
St. Peter ad Vincula, so often mentioned before), who were 

* Sec Book VI r. Chap 3. 

f Giovauni dclla Bovere, Duke of Sora. See Book V1L C naj*. It. 



266 THE MEMOIRS OF PHIUP DE COMMINES. [1496. 

in the king's pay, would have brought a thousand men-at- 
arms, but you must know the retinue and equipage of their 
men-at-arms is not so great as ours ; for they have no 
archers, but their pay is alike ; for the pay of a man-at-arms 
(if he is well paid) is one hundred ducats a year, but if he 
be attended by archers it is double. These soldiers the king 
would have paid, but tlie Florentines were to have paid their 
own forces. The Duke of Ferrara, the Marquis of Mantua, 
and Signor Bentivoglio desired only their expenses ; for they 
expected their reward out of the towns which they should 
take from the Duke of Milan, had he been suddenly invaded 
by the Duke of Orleans' forces. And of those who were hi3 
confederates, none would have been able to avoid siding 
with the king against the Venetians ; and for less than 
eighty thousand crowns the king could have kept all these 
Italians together a long time; and if the Duke of Milan had 
been conquered, the kingdom of Naples would have fallen of 
course. 

The miscarriage of this important design proceeded 
merely from the Duke of Orleans' inconstancy. He in- 
tended over-night to set out in the morning ; he had sent 
all his equipage, baggage, and whatever else belonged to big 
person, before him ; so that there was nothing to follow but 
himself. His army, consisting of eight hundred French 
men-at-arms and six thousand foot (among whom were 
four hundred Swiss), lay ready at Asti, and their pay iiv 
advance in their pockets ; yet on a sudden he changed his 
mind, and made two several requests to the king, that the 
expedition might be once more debated before the council ; 
and it was done twice. I was present on both occasions : 
the result was, nemine contradicente (though there were 
always ten or twelve in council), that he should proceed on 
the expedition ; because they had given their above-men- 
tioned friends in Italy repeated assurances of his coming ; 
and they had raised men, and been at great expense in ex- 
pectation of him. But the Duke of Orleans (either by the 
advice of some other person, or through his own unwilling- 
ness to go, on account of the king's illness, and his being the 
next heir to the crown,) plainly declared he would not under- 
take that enterprise upon any quarrel of his own ; but as he 
was the king's lieutenant, if his majesty pleased to command 



1496.] DESIGNS ON GENOA. 267 

it, he would go with all his heart ; and so the council broke 
up. The next day, and several days after, the Florentine 
envoys, and the rest of the ambassadors, pressed the king, 
that he would command the duke to go ; but the king's 
answer was, that he would never send him to make war 
against his inclinations. And thus was that enterprise 
quashed in a moment, to theking's great displeasure, who had 
been at vast charges, and had great hopes of revenging him- 
self on the Duke of Milan, considering his own alliances at 
that time, and what he might have had by Signor John 
James de Trivulce, who was lieutenant-general for the king; 
and that the Duke of Orleans was born, and had great in- 
terest and alliance in the duchy of Milan, where many persons 
would have supported him. 

But though this design miscarried, another revived, nay 
two or three at a time, in Genoa, which is a place ever 
prone to revolutions. One was contrived by Signor Bap- 
tista di Campoforgoso*, a great leader of faction in Genoa; 
but he was banished, and his party could do nothing; nor 
could the family of Doria, who were gentlemen, but the 
Campoforgosi were not. The Dorias are of the same party 
with the Campoforgosi, but cannot be Doges themselves, 
because they are gentlemen ; for no gentleman is capable of 
being Doge by their laws. But this Baptista had been 
Doge not long before, but was supplanted by his uncle the 
Cardinal of Genoa, who put the government into the hands 
of the Duke of Milan, under whom the city was governed 
by the Adorni, who also are not gentlemen ; yet they have 
been often Doges, and are supported by the house of the 
Spinoli, who are gentlemen. The nobility in Genoa make 
Doges, but cannot be made so themselves. This Signor 
Baptista expected his whole party (both in the city and 
country) would take arms in his favour, and that the king 
would obtain the sovereignty, but the government would 
fall into the hands of himself and his party ; and they did 
not question but to drive out the rest. 

* Baptista Fregosi was raised to the dignity of Doge of Genoa in 
1478. Under the pretext that he was plotting the subjection of Genoa 
to the Emperor, his uncle, Cardinal Frcgosi, in concert with Lazaro 
Doria, arrested him, and procured his banishment, in 1483. — Sismomdi, 
Xi. 287. 



268 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [HOG. 

The other design was set on foot by several persons in 
Savona, who addressed themselves to the Cardinal of St. 
Peter ad Vincula, assuring him they would deliver up the 
town, provided their liberties and privileges might be se- 
cured to them ; for they were then under the jurisdiction of 
Genoa, and paid heavy duties. If he could have made him- 
self master of this town, he would have reduced Genoa to 
great straits, considering Provence was our king's own 
country, and Savoy at his command. Upon this news, the 
king sent to Signor John James di Trivulce to assist the 
said Baptista di Campoforgoso with such supplies as might 
carry him to the very walls of Genoa, to see whether his 
party would rise. On the other side he was pressed hard 
by the Cardinal of St. Peter ad Vincula, who also obtained 
a letter to Trivulce from the king, commanding him to 
furnish the Cardinal with men enough to conduct him to 
Savona ; and he received the same message by word of 
mouth from the Lord of Sernon in Provence, who was the 
Cardinal's friend, and a bold talker. The kinc also sent 
orders to Signor James di Trivulce to contrive matters so 
as to support both parties, and yet do nothing against the 
Duke of Milan, or contrary to the peace that had been made 
with him the year before; but these orders were downright 
contradictions. 

And after this manner the affairs of great princes are 
managed, when they are not present themselves, or are too 
hasty in commanding letters and messengers to be de- 
spatched, without mature and requisite deliberation. In 
this case, if one considers what was required by Signor 
Baptista di Campoforgoso and the Cardinal, we shall find 
that it was impossible to supply them both at a time. For 
to approach the walls of Genoa without a considerable body 
of forces, was ridiculous and impracticable, by reason of the 
numbers and courage of the inhabitants ; and to have sup- 
plied the Cardinal had been to have divided his own army 
into three bodies, for part must of necessity have remained 
with Signor John James ; and, besides, the alarm was taken, 
and the Duke of Milan, the Venetians, Don Frederic, and 
the Pope, had all of them sent forces to Genoa and Savona, 
Suspecting their intended revolt. 

Besides these two, Signor John James Trivulce had & 



1496. J FAILURE OF THKSE INTRIGUES. 269 

third design of his own, and that was, to march directly 
with all his forces against the Duke of Milan, and lay those 
other enterprises aside ; and certainly if he had been per- 
mitted to pursue his own scheme, he would have performed 
some sreat action ; for, under pretence that he could not 
otherwise protect such as were engaged in the designs upon 
Genoa and Savona, he posted himself upon the high road 
from Alessandria to Genoa (and indeed the Duke of Milan 
could send forces no other way to molest us), and possessed 
himself of two or three small towns, without any resistance, 
pretending that this was no violation of the peace with the 
duke, for he was forced to it of necessity ; and that the king 
could not be said to have made war upon the duke by en- 
deavouring to recover Genoa and Savona, because they held 
of the king, and had forfeited their allegiance. However, to 
satisfy the Cardinal, Signor John James di Trivulce sent 
part of his army to Savona ; but he found the garrison rein- 
forced and his designs defeated, and so he marched back. 
He sent other troops to Signor Baptista, to attempt some- 
thing upon Genoa, and great matters were expected from 
thence; but before they had marched four leagues, both 
the French and Swiss who were in his company grew sus- 
picious of him (though I think it was wrongfully), and it 
was well things happened so ; for their number being very 
inconsiderable, they would have exposed themselves to great 
danger if their party in the town had not risen. Thus all 
these enterprises and designs miscarried, and the Duke of 
Milan became strong; but he had run great danger if 
Signor John James had not been countermanded. Our 
army marched back, our foot were disbanded, the small 
towns restored, and the war was concluded, but with little 
advantage to the king, considering what expense he had 
been at in military preparations. 



Ch. XXTII.— Of certain Differences that arose between Charles King 
of France, and Ferrand King of Castile; and the Ambassadors who 
were sent by both of them to accommodate the Art'air. — 1497. 

From the beginning of 1496, when the king had already 
been ftur months on this side of the mountains, till tha 



27C THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1497. 

year 1498, our forces lay still, and did nothing in Italy: I 
was present all that while with his majesty, and privy to 
most of his affairs. He went from Lyons to Moulins, and 
from Moulins to Tours, spending his time in nothing but 
jousts and tournaments wherever he came, without ever 
thinking of other affairs. Those who were in greatest repu- 
tation with him, were in great dissension among themselves, 
and it could hardly be greater. Some (as the Cardinal and 
seneschal) were for carrying on the war in Italy, because it 
was for their profit and advantage; the admiral* on the 
other side (who before that expedition had been the king's 
greatest favourite), opposed it in hopes to be restored to his 
former authority and to supplant his competitors; and in 
this posture things stood about a year and a half. 

In the meantime our king sent ambassadors to the King 
and Queen of Castile, for his majesty desired to be at peace 
with them, because they were very powerful both at sea and 
land ; and though at land they had done no extraordinary 
exploits, yet by sea they had given Kings Ferrand and Fre- 
deric very considerable assistance ; for the island of Sicily 
is distant from Rhegio in Calabria only a league and a halt". 
Some are of opinion it was formerly joined to the continent |, 
and in process of time separated from it by the sea. The 
opening is now os"'ed the Straits of Messina. From this 
island of Sicily, which belonged to the King and Queen of 
Castile, large supplies were sent to Naples, as well in caravels 
from Spain, as in men from the island, out of which several 
men-at-arms passed the sea into Calabria, with a good 
number of Spanish Genetaires, and made war against those 

* Louis Malet. See Book VII. Chap. 1. 

f Virgil was of this opinion, as appears by the following lines : — 
" Ast, ubi digressum Siculae te admoverit oraa 
Ventus, et angusti rarescent lustra pelori; 
Laeva tibi tellus, et longo laeva_ petantur 
^Equora circuitu: dextrum fuge littus et unda* 
Hsec loca, vi quondam et vasta convulsa ruina 
(Tantum a?vi longinqua valet mutare vetustas) 
l)issiluisse ferunt: cum protinus utraque tellus 
Una foret, venit medio vi pontus, et undis 
Hesperium Siculo latus abscidit: arvaque et urbes 
Lktore didujtas, angusto interluit ajstu." 

Vikg. JEneid. 111. 410 — 419. 



1497.] SPANISH DEFEATS IN BOUSSILLON. 271 

who appeared for our king. Their fleet was continually 
joined with the confederates, and when they were united, 
our king was too weak to meet them at sea ; otherwise the 
King of Castile had not done him much mischief. It is true 
a good body of his horse made an inroad into Languedoc, 
plundered some few towns, and quartered up and down that 
country for three or four days ; but that was all, and no con- 
siderable damage done. Monsieur de St. Andre* (of Bour- 
bonnois) being then upon the frontier with some troops 
belonging to the Duke of Bourbon, who was governor of 
Languedoc, attempted to take Saussesf, a small town in Rous- 
sillon, from whence the enemy made all his incursions ; for 
the king had restored the said Roussillon to them about two 
years before, in which province there is the territory of Per- 
pignan, and this Sausses is in the middle of it. The design 
was great, because the town was strongly garrisoned with a 
detachment of the King of Castile's own guards, and within 
a league lay their whole army, which was more numerous 
than ours, and ready to engage us. However, Monsieur de 
St. Andre managed his affairs so prudently, and with so 
much secrecy, that in ten hours' time he took the town 
(which I have seen) by assault J, and in it there were thirty 
or forty Spanish gentlemen of good quality slain, and among 
them the son of the Archbishop of St. James's §, hesides 
three or four hundred more. They did not suppose we 
should have been masters of it so soon, because they knew 
not the goodness of our cannon, which certainly are the 
finest and best in Europe. 

No other but this action happened between these two 
kings, and this was much to the dishonour of the King of 
Castile, who had such a numerous army in the field. But 
when God Almighty is pleased to chastise a nation for its 

* Guichard d'Albon, Lord of Saint- Andre and Oulches, was lieu- 
tenant-general for the king in Languedoc in the year 1496, and became 
Bailiff of Montferrand in 1498. 

f Salces, a village in the department of the Pyrenees Orientales, and 
formerly the key of Roussillon. The strong castle of Salces was gar- 
risoned by the Spaniards in July, 1495, and from it they made frequent 
incursions upon the territories of Narbonne and Carcassonne during 
the ensuing winter. 

X On Friday, the 8th of October, 1496. 

5 Don Diego de A/evedo. 



272 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMIXES. [1497 

sins, He begins with such small and supportable afflictions ; 
for the King and Queen of Castile were visited afterwards 
with greater afflictions, and so were we too. The King and 
Queen of Castile acted very imprudently, and were ill- 
advised to forswear themselves to our master, especially after 
he had been so friendly as to restore Roussillon, which had 
cost his father so much to fortify and defend, and which had 
been mortgaged to him for 300,000 crowns ; all which was 
remitted to hinder him from disturbing our king in his in- 
tended conquest of Naples. Besides which, they renewed 
the ancient alliances with not only king and king, kingdom 
and kingdom, but the individual subjects on both sides were 
mutually bound ; and they promised not to interrupt us in 
our conquest, nor to marry any of their daughters with the 
houses of either Naples, England, or Flanders ; which offer 
came first from themselves, and was made by one Friar 
John de Mauleon, on the part of the Queen of Castile. Yet 
as soon as they saw the war begun, and the king at Rome, 
they sent their ambassadors to all the neighbouring states 
to make an alliance against our king ; and particularly to 
Venice, where I was resident at that time ; and there the 
league (which I have spoken of so much) was made between 
the Pope, the King of the Romans, the Signory of Venice, 
the Spaniards, and the Duke of Milan; and immediately they 
began to act offensively against our king, and to declare that 
their former obligation had become void, and they were no 
longer bound to observe it, especially that article about the 
marriage of their daughters (of whom they had four, and 
but one son), though they first made that offer of themselves, 
as you have already heard. 

But to proceed in my history. After the wars in Italy 
were over, and the king had nothing left in the kingdom of 
Najles but Gaeta, which he lost afterwards, — after the rival 
pretensions to Roussillon were adjusted, and each prince was 
in possession of what was his own, they sent a gentleman 
to King Charles, and with him certain monks of Montferrat, 
it being the custom of Spain to manage all their negotiations 
by such people, either out of hypocrisy and pretence of re- 
ligion, or to save expense; for, as I said before, the treaty 
about Roussillon was managed by Friar John de Mauleon. 
These ambassadors, at their first audience, besought the 



1497.] NEGOCIATIONS WITH SPAIN. 273 

king that he would forget the injury that had been done 
him by the King and Queen of Castile (which king and queen 
are always mentioned together, because Castile came by 
her, and she had in that country the principal authority, 
and it was a marriage of more than ordinary honour). Then 
they began to propose a truce, in which their whole league 
was to be comprehended, and our king was to keep Gaeta 
in his possession, and what other places were then in his 
hands in the kingdom of Naples ; that during the truce his 
majesty might victual them as he pleased ; and that a time 
and place should be appointed, at which ambassadors from 
all the parties to the league (or as many as desired it) should 
meet to conclude a final peace; after which the King and 
Queen of Spain intended to pursue the conquest of the 
Moors, and, having finished that, to pass over from Granada 
into Africa against the King of Fez, whose kingdom reaches 
to the coast on the other side of that sea. However, some 
say they never designed to do this, but were resolved to be 
satisfied with the conquest of the kingdom of Granada, 
which indeed was a glorious action, and the fairest acqui- 
sition which had been gained, not only in our times, but by 
all their predecessors ; and I wish for their own sakes they 
had rested there, and kept their promise to our king. 

With these ambassadors of theirs our king sent back the 
Lord of Clerifux *, in Dauphiny, and endeavoured to con- 
clude either a separate peace or a truce with them, without 
comprehending any of the rest of the confederates ; but if 
the king had accepted their overture, he had preserved 
Gaeta, which might have been sufficient for the recovery of 
the whole kingdom, considering what friends his majesty had 
in it. When the Lord of Clerieux returned, he brought new 
propositions, for Gaeta was lost before he got to Castile. 
These propositions were, that the ancient alliance between the 
two crowns should be renewed, and that by common consent 
and expense they should endeavour the conquest of Italy, 
and that both the kings should be personally present in that 
expedition-! But first they insisted that a general truce 

* Guillanme de Poitiers, Lord of Clerieu, and titular Marquis of 
Cotron in Calabria. 

f " The Spanish writers," says Mr. Prescott, " impute the first sug- 
gestion of this project for the conquest and division of the kingdom v*f 

VOL. U- I 



274 THE MEMOIRS OF PIIILIP DE COMMINES. [1497- 

might be concluded, wherein the whole league should be 
comprehended, and a day and place appointed in Piedmont, 
to which each of them might send their ambassadors ; for 
they were desirous to acquit themselves honourably towards 
their confederates. But all this overture, in my opinion, 
(and I have understood as much since), was but an artirice 
to gain time, and suffer King Ferrand and his successor King 
Frederic to breathe a little. However, they would have been 
contented to have had that kingdom to themselves, and their 
title was better than that of those who possessed it; but our 
king's title (which was the house of Anjou's) was better 
than either ; yet, considering the nature of the country, and 
the people who inhabit it, I think he has best right to it that 
can keep possession of it, so strangely are they inclined to 
revolutions. 

After this, the king sent Clerieux back again into Spain, 
and with him one Michel de Grammont, with certain new 
proposals. This Lord de Clerieux had some little affection 
for the house of Arragon, and hoped to have the marquisate 
of Cotron in Calabria, which the King of Spain obtaii.ed 
among the last conquests which he made in that province. 
Clerieux pretended it was his, for he is an honest man, but 
something too credulous, especially of such great persons. 
The second time he returned, he brought back with him 
another ambassador from them, and the Lord de Clerieux 
reported that the King and Quren of Castile would be con- 
tented to take Calabria (which is the part of Italy that lies 
next Sicily) for their whole interest in that kingdom, and 
that our king should have the rest; he offered likewise that 
the King of Castile should be present in person in this in- 

Naples by the combined powers of France and Spain, to the French, 
who, they say, went so far as to specify the details of the partition sub- 
sequently adopted ; according to which the two Calabrias were assigned 
to Spain. However this may be, there is little doubt that Ferdinand 
had long entertained the idea of asserting his claim at some time or 
other to the crown of Naples. The accession of Frederic, in particular, 
Nad given great umbrage to the Spanish monarch; and the Castilian 
invoy, Garcilasso de la Vega, agreeably to the instructions of his court, 
urged Alexander the Sixth to withhold the investiture of the kingdom 
from Frederic, but unavailingly, as the Pope's interests were too closely 
connected by marriage with those of the royal fauuly of Naples."- - 
History oj Ferdinand and Isabella, voL ii. p. 311. 



1497.] TRUCE WITH SPAIN. 275 

tended expedition, and contribute as much towards paying 
the army as our king ; and, indeed, he was at that time mas- 
ter of four or five fortified towns in Calabria, and among the 
rest was Cotron, which is not only a strong, but a beautiful 
city. I was present when the ambassador made his report, 
and most were of opinion he had been imposed upon, and 
that it would be necessary to send another ambassador of 
greater sagacity, to search more narrowly into the affair. 
Upon which the Lord du Bouchage was joined with him in 
the embassy. He was a person of great wisdom and pene- 
tration in state atfairs, and had enjoyed places of great trust 
and honour in the late king's reign, and was still highly 
valued and esteemed by his son. The Spanish ambassador, 
who came along with the Lord de Clerieux, would never 
confirm what he had said ; only he told us, that lie believed 
Monsieur de Clerieux would not have made that report, if 
the King and Queen of Castile had not said it ; which gave 
us the more suspicion it was a trick ; and, besides, nobody 
could believe the King of Spain would go thither in person, 
or that he would, or indeed could, bear an equal share of tne 
expense with our master. 

As soon as the Lord du Bouchage, Monsieur de Clerieux, 
Michel de Grammont, and the rest of our ambassadors, were 
arrived at the court of the King and Queen of Castile, they 
ordered them to be lodged in apartments where none could 
converse with them, and appointed persons to have an eye 
over them, and they were admitted to three private audiences 
of the king and queen. When the Lord du Bouchage had ac- 
quainted them with what the Lord de Clerieux had reported 
to his master, and Michel de Grammont had confirmed it, 
they answered, that they might have said some such thing by 
way of discourse, but not otherwise, yet they would readily 
engage themselves in any peace that should be for our 
master's honour and advantage. The Lord de Clerieux wae 
very uneasy at their answer (and with reason), and justified 
to their faces, in the presence of the Lord du Bouchage, that 
they had made him this offer. However, the Lord du Bou- 
chage and the other ambassadors concluded a truce for two 
months*, without comprehending the league in it; but in- 

* This truce was signed on the 5th of March, 1497, and was to lasl 
Until the end of October in that year. — Sismonui, xii. 444. 

t J 



276 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DK COMMINES. [1497 

eluding the princes who had married their daughters, and the 
fathers of their sons-in-law (namely, the King of the Romans,' 
and the King of England), for the Prince of Wales* was but 
very young at that time. The King and Queen of Castile had 
four daughters ; the eldest was a widow, and married to the 
son of the King of Portugal f, who died lately, having broken 
his neck in her sight as he was passing a career upon a jennet 
before her, three months after their marriage ; and they had 
one daughter J unmarried. 

As soon as the Lord du Bouchage was arrived, and had 
informed the king of his reception at the Spanish court, his 
majesty was sensible he had acted wisely in sending him, 
for now he was assured of what he but suspected before, 
and that was, the credulity of the Lord de Clerieux. The 
Lord du Bouchage told him, moreover, that all he could ob- 
tain was that truce, which, however, his majesty had liberty 
either to accept or reject. The king confirmed it, and therein 
he did wisely, for it broke up that confederacy which had 
given so much disturbance to his affairs, and which hitherto 
he had been unable to dissolve, though he had tried all pos- 
sible means to do it. The Lord du Bouchage also acquainted 
his majesty, that they would send ambassadors to him with 
power to conclude a peace ; and of this the King and Queen 
of Castile had assured him when he had his audience of 
leave. He told our king also, that at his coming away he 
left their only son, the Prince of Castile, very dangerously ill.- 

* Arthur, son of King Henry VII. of England, was born on the 20th 
of September, 1486, and married to Catherine of Arragon on the 12th 
of November, 1501. But a few months after his marriage the young 
prince sickened and died, and his widow was contracted to his brother 
Henry, afterwards Henry VIII. 

t Alphonso, son of John II., King of Portugal, was born on the 18th 
of May, 1475, and married to Isabella of Castile in 1490. He died of 
a fall from his horse in the following year, and his widow married 
Emanuel, his successor on the throne. 

% This was the Infanta Maria, who married her brother-in-law 
Emanuel of Portugal, after the death of her sister Isabella. The fourth 
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella was named Juana, and married 
Philip, Archduke of Austria, in H9G. 



1497.] DEATH OF THE PRINCE OP CASTILE. 277 



Ch. XXIV. — A Digression concerning the Fortunes and Misfortunes 
which happened to the House of Castile in the Author's Time. — 1497. 

The Lord du Bouchage, ten or twelve days after his return 
into France, received letters from a herald, whom he had 
left behind to wait on the ambassadors that were to come 
from thence. The letters were to this purpose, that he must 
not wonder at their deferring the embassy, because of the 
death of the Prince of Castile* (as they called him), to the 
unspeakable grief of the king and queen, but especially of 
the queen, who was more like to die than to live ; and cer- 
tainly I never heard of so solemn and so universal a mourn- 
ing for any prince in Europe. I have since been informed 
by ambassadors, that all the tradesmen put themselves into 
black clothes, and shut up their shops for forty days to- 
gether; the nobility and gentry covered their mules with 
black cloth down to their very knees, so that there was no- 
thing of them to be seen but their eyes ; and set up black 
banners upon all the gates of the cities. When the Lady 
Margaret (daughter to the King of the Romans f, sister to the 
Archduke of Austria}:, and wife to the said Prince of Cas- 
tile) was informed of the news of his death, she miscarried 
of a daughter (being six months gone with child), which was 
born dead. What a terrible blow must this have been to a 
family which had known nothing before but felicity and 
renown, and had a larger territory (I mean by succession) than 
any other prince in Christendom ! And, besides the late ac- 
quisition of Granada, they had forced the greatest monarch 
in Europe out of Italy, and defeated his enterprise, which was 
looked upon to be such a mighty action even by the Pope § 
himself, that he would have taken away the title of " Most 
Christian" from the King of France, and conferred it on the 
King of Castile, to whom several briefs were addressed with 
that title superscribed ; but, because some of the Cardinals 

• On the 4th of October, 1497, in the twentieth year of his age. 
f Maximilian I., afterwards emperor, 
j Philip I., Archduke of Austria. 
$ Alexander VI. 



278 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1497. 

opposed it, he gave him another title, which was, " The 
Most Catholic," by which title he is called now, and I sup- 
pose he will be styled so for ever at Rome. What a sad and 
surprising turn of fortune must this accident have been ! at 
a time when they had reduced their kingdom to obedience, 
regulated the laws, settled the administration of justice, and 
were so well and happy in their own persons, as if God and 
man had conspired to advance their power and honour above 
all the rest of the princes in Europe. 

Nor was this their only affliction, for their eldest daughter 
(the dearest thing to them in the world after the death of 
her brother) was forced to leave them, having some few 
days before been married to Emanuel*, the young King of 
Portugal. He was then indeed but Prince of Portugal ; but 
the crown of Portugal fell to him by the death of the last 
King of Portugal, who had most barbarously caused the 
head of his father-in-law f to be cut off, and killed his wife's 
brother J with his own hand (who was elder brother to the 
king that now reipns in Portugal), and kept this present 
king in perpetual fear, and killed his own brother before his 
wife's face, as they were sitting at dinner, to make way for 
one of his bastards § to be king. After which cruelties he 
lived in continual fear and suspicion, and not long after his 
only son broke his neck by falling off his mule, as you have 
heard ; and he was the first husband to the lady of whom I 
am now speaking, and who is Queen of Portugal at present, 
into which kingdom she has been twice married ; and by 
report she is one of the wisest and most honourable persons 
in the world. 



* Emanuel, surnamed the Fortunate, was the son of Ferdinand, Dnke 
of Viseo. He succeeded his cousin, John II., on the throne of Por- 
tugal in 1495, and died on the 13th of December, 1521. 

f This is a mistake. Eleanor of Portugal was the daughter of Fer- 
dinand, Dnke of Viseo; but it was Ferdinand, Duke ot Braganza, who 
was beheaded by order of John II. in 1483, on the charge of having 
revealed secrets of state. 

J James of Portugal, Duke of Viseo, having conspired against 
John II. was stabbed by him on the 23rd of August, 1484. 

§ George, son of John II. and Anne de Mendoza. His father wished 
to legitimate him in order to leave him the crown; but the Pope inter- 
posed, at the request of Queen Eleanor, and George was made Duke of 
Aveiro. — Am6ejlmb, i. 668. 



1498.] MISFORTUNES OF THE SPANISH MONARCHS. 279 

But, to continue our relation of the miserable accidents 
which in a short space befel the King and Queen of Castile, 
who had lived in so much glory and felicity to the fiftieth 
year of their age or more, you must know they had 
married their eldest daughter to the King of Portugal, first 
that all Spain might be in peace ; for they were entirely 
possessed of all its provinces, except the kingdom of Na- 
varre, which they governed as they pleased, and in which 
they had also four of the strongest towns. Secondly, to 
adjust and compose the difference about her dower and 
marriage-portion : and, thirdly, for the benefit and advantage 
of some of the grandees of Portugal, who were in the King 
of Castile's interest ; for by this match those lords who were 
banished that country upon the death of the two princes 
above-mentioned, and had had their estates confiscated (which 
continues to this day, though the crime of which they were 
accused was only endeavouring to set this king up who now 
reigns), had estates given them in Castile ; and their lands 
in Portugal, which were forfeited by the attainder, were as- 
signed to the queen's use. And yet, notwithstanding all these 
considerations, the King and Queen of Castile were extremely 
troubled at this match ; for you must understand there is 
no nation in Europe that the Spaniards abhor and deride so 
much as they do the Portuguese. So that it was no small 
mortification to them that they had married their daughter 
'to a person that was not pleasing to the Castilians and the 
rest of their subjects, and had it been to be done again, it 
would never have been done ; which must needs have been 
a great affliction to them, and the greater, because she had 
to leave them. But, bavins; mastered their sorrow as well 
as they could, they conducted them through all the chief 
cities in their kingdoms, caused the King of Portugal to be 
received as their prince, his queen as princess, and declared 
them their successors after their decease. And now a little 
comfort came to them ; for their daughter, Princess of Cas- 
tile and Queen of Portugal, was pregnant of a child. But 
then followed the consummation of their sorrows, this young 
lady, whom they loved and valued so highly, died in child- 
bed of a son about a month since, and it is now October 
1498. Though the queen died, yet her son lived, and i* 

X 4 



280 THE MEMOIRS OF PniLIP DE COMM1NES. \_1497. 

called Emanuel* after his father; yet I am informed theif 
affliction is so great, they would have given God thanks to 
have taken them with their daughter. 

All these great misfortunes happened to them in three 
months' space ; nor were we without our share of afflictions \ 
for, before the death of the above-mentioned princess, we in 
this kingdom were chastised and afllicted by the death of 
King Charles VIII., of whom I have spoken so much, and 
who died as you shall hear hereafter ; and it seemed as if 
God had been offended with both these illustrious families, 
and would not suffer the one to triumph over the other. 
No such revolution happens in a kingdom, but it is generally 
attended with very sad consequences, and though possibly 
gome may be gainers, yet there will be a hundred losers to 
one who .profits, besides the changing of a man's whole life 
and conversation; for that which pleases one king will 
hardly be agreeable to another. And (as I have said in 
another place) he that reflects upon the sudden and severe 
chastisements which God has inflicted on the great princes 
of Europe within these thirty years, shall find them more and 
greater than in two hundred years before, including France, 
Castile, Portugal, England, the Kingdom of Naples, Flan- 
ders, and Bretagne ; and if any should attempt to give a 
particular account of all the misfortunes which I have seen, 
(and perhaps most of the persons, both men and women, on 
whom they fell), it would swell into a vast volume, and as- 
tonk-h the whole world, though it contained no more than 
the occurrences of ten years past. By these afflictions the 
power of God ought to be acknowledged and remembered ; 
for the troubles which he lays upon princes are heavier, 
more grievous, and more lasting than those he lays upon 
inferior persons. So that, in short (upon a full and just 
consideration of all circumstances), I think the lives of 
princes are as much subject to afflictions and anxiety of 
mind as other men's, at least if they regard their own affairs 
themselves, and endeavour to prevent such miseries from 
falling upon them as they see have ruined their neighbours. 

• This child, whose birth had cost so dear, was born on the 23rd of 
August, 1498, and received the name of Miyuel, in honour of the saint 
on whose day he first saw the light. He died on the 19th of July, l&Oa 
— Anselme, i. 602. 



1498.] THE CASTLE OF AMBOISE. 28] 

It is true they punish their subjects at their pleasure, and 
God does the same by them ; for, besides Him, there is none 
above them. But that kingdom is most happy whose king 
is wise, and fears God and his commandments. 

Thus have you seen, in few words, the misfortunes which 
within the space of three months befel these two great and 
potent kingdoms, which not long before were so incensed 
one against the other, so busy to subvert one another, and 
so intent upon their own interest and advancement, that 
nothing which they enjoyed was sufficient to satisfy their 
boundless ambition. I confess (as I said before) no change 
happens in any government but some people are the better 
for it ; yet when a prince dies suddenly his death is at first 
terrible to all. 



Ch. XXV. — Of the magnificent Building which King Charles began not 
long before his Death; his good Inclination to reform the Church, the 
Laws, the Treasury, and himself; and how he died suddenly in this 
Resolution in his Castle at Amboise. — 1498. 

Lhave now done with the affairs of Italy and Spain, and 
shall return to speak of our own misfortunes and losses in 
France (at which some people might possibly rejoice, espe- 
cially if they gained anything by them), and give you an 
account of the death of Charles VIII., our king, who died 
suddenly at his castle of Amboise, where he had begun the 
most august and magnificent building that any prince had 
undertaken for one hundred years before, both in the town 
and the castle ; and this appears by the towers, to the top 
of which one may ride on horseback. As to his building in 
the town, the design was admirable, the model lofty, and 
the erection would have required a great deal of time. He 
had brought his artificers (as his carvers, painters, and such 
like) from Italy, so that the whole fabric seemed the enter- 
prise of a young prince who had no thought of dying so 
soon ; for he collected whatever was commended to him 
either in France, Italy, or Flanders. Besides this great 
work, his mind was bent upon another expedition into Italy, 



262 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DV COMMUTES. [1498. 

for lie was sensible he had committed many great errors in 
his first ; he spoke often of tliern, and resolved, if ever he 
recovered what he had lost in that country, he would keep 
it better than he had done ; and, having partisans and intelli- 
gence in all places, he thought it not impossible but he might 
return and recover the kingdom of Naples ; to which pur- 
pose he resolved to send thither a body of fifteen hundred 
Italian men-at-arms under the command of the Marquis of 
Mantua, the Ursini, the Vitelli, and the Prefect of Rome, 
who was brother to the Cardinal of St. Peter ad Vincula ; 
and the Lord d'Aubigny, who had done such good service in 
Calabria, was to march into the territories of the Floren- 
tines, who were to bear half the charges for six months. 
His first attempt was to have been upon Pisa, or the adja- 
cent small towns ; and then, joining all his forces, to march 
in one body into the kingdom of Naples, from whence 
messengers were sent to him continually. Pope Alexander 
VI., who now reigns, being offended with the Venetians, 
endeavoured to come into the alliance, and carried on private 
intrigues for the purpose by means of an agent that lay in- 
cognito, whom I privately conveyed into the king's chamber 
not long before his death. The Venetians were ready to join 
with us against the Duke of Milan, and our negociations 
with Spain were as you have heard ; the King of the Romans 
desired nothing so earnestly as the friendship of our king, 
and that they two might manage their own affairs in Italy 
by themselves. This King of the Romans was called 
Maximilian, and he was a mortal enemy to the Venetians, 
because they had taken and kept several places belonging to 
the house of Austria, of which he was next heir, and heir 
to the empire besides. 

The king had also resolved within himself to live amore strict 
and religious life than he had formerly done, to regulate the 
laws, to reform the Church, and so to rectify his finances that 
he would not raise above one million tw T o hundred thousand 
francs upon his subjects by way of annual tax, which was 
the sum given him by the three Estates at their convention at 
Tours, upon his accession to the throne. He intended the 
said sum should be employed in the defence of the kingdom, 
and for himself he would live upon his crown lands, as his 
predecessors had done before him ; which he might easily 



14S"3.] PLANS AND DEATH OF CHARLES VIII. 283 

have done if it had been well managed, for his private re- 
venue (comprehending his duties and customs) came to above 
a million a year. Had he done as he resolved, it would have 
been a great ease to the people, who pay now ahove two 
millions and a half. He was very earnest likewise to have 
reformed the abuses in the order of St. Benedict and others. 
He got good preachers about him, and was a constant 
hearer of them. He would fain have ordered it so that a 
bishop should have enjoyed but one bishopric, a cardinal 
two, and that all should have been obliged to be resident 
upon their benefices ; but he would have found it a difficult 
task to have persuaded the clergy to it. He gave alms 
liberally to the poor not many days before his death, as I 
was since informed by his confessor the Bishop of Angers*, 
who is a very eminent prelate. He had ereeted also a place 
for public audience f, where he heard and dispatched causes, 
especially for the benefit of the poor ; in which place I saw 
him for two hours together, not above a week before he 
died ; after which time I never saAV him again. Matters of 
great moment were not dispatched at these audiences, but 
he had set up that court to keep people in awe, and espe- 
cially his officers, some of whom he suspended for bribery and 
corruption. 

The king being in such great glory in relation to this 
world, and in such a good mind as to God, on the 7th of 
April, 1498, being the eve of Palm Sunday, took his queen 
(Anne of Bretagne) by the hand, and led her out of her 
chamber to a place where she had never been before, to see 
them play at tennis in the castle-ditch. They entered 
together into a gallery called the Haquelebac Gallery, upon 
the account of its having been formerly guarded by one 
Haquelebac. It was the nastiest place about the castle, 
broken down at the entrance, and everybody committed a 
nuisance in it that would. The king was not a tall man, 
yet he knocked his head as he went in. He spent some 
time in looking upon the players, and talked freely with 
everybody. I was not there myself (for I had gone to my 

* Jean de Rely, a native of Arras, was made Bishop of Angers on 
the 1st of December, 1491, and died at Saumuron the 27th of March, 
1498. 

t By letters dated on the 30th of December, 1497. 



284 THE MKMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1498 

country-house about a week before) but his confessor the 
Bishop of Angers, and the gentlemen of his bed-chamber, 
who were then about him, told me what I write. The 
last expression he used whilst he was in health was, that he 
hoped never to commit a mortal sin again, nor a venial sin 
if he could help it; and with those words in his mouth lie 
fell down backwards, and lost his speech. It was about two in 
in the afternoon when he fell, and he lay motionless till eleven 
o'clock at night. Thrice herecovered his speech, but he quickly 
lost it again, as his confessor told me, who had confessed 
him twice that week, once of course, and a second time upon 
occasion of his touching for the king's evil. Every one 
went into the gallery that pleased, where the king was laid 
upon a coarse bed ; and he never left it till he died, which 
was nine hours after. The confessor told me that every 
time he recovered his speech he called out upon God, the 
glorious Virgin Mary, St. Claude, and St. Blaise, to assist 
him. And thus died that great and powerful monarch in a 
sordid and filthy place, though lie had so many magnificent 
palaces of his own, and was building another more stately 
than any of them, yet he died in this poor chamber. How 
plain, then, and natural is it, from these two examples, for us 
to acknowledge the power and omnipotence of God, and 
that our life is but a span and a trifle, though we are so 
greedy and ambitious after the riches of this world ; and 
that princes no more than peasants are able to resist the 
Almighty. 



Ch. XXVI. — How holy Friar Jerome was burned at Florence by the 
Malice and Solicitation of the Pope, and several Venetians and Flo- 
rentines who were his Enemies 1498. 

In my relation of the affairs of Italy*, I have mentioned & 
Jacobite friar who lived at Florence for the space of fifteen 
years, in great reputation for the sanctity of his life, and 
whom I aaw and conversed with in the year 1495. His 

* 6w Book VI1L Chaj>. S. 



1498.] FATE OF SAVONAROLA. 285 

name was Jerome, and he had foretold several things which 
afterwards came to pass. He had always affirmed that the king 
would make a voyage into Italy, declaring it puhliely in his 
sermons, and asserting he had both that and other things by 
revelation from God, by whom he pronounced our king to 
have been chosen to reform the Church by the sword, and 
chastise the insolence of tyrants. But his pretending to re- 
velation created him many enemies, made him incur the dis- 
pleasure of the Pope, and gained him ill-will from several 
in Florence. His lite and discourses (as far as could be dis- 
covered) were the severest and most holy in the world, for 
he was declaiming perpetually against sin, and making many 
proselytes in that city. 

In the same year 1498, and within four or five days after 
the death of King Charles VIII., died Friar Jerome also*; 
which I mention the rather, because he had always publicly 
asserted that the king should return again into Italy, to 
accomplish the commission which God had given him for 
the reforming of the Church by the sword, and the ex- 
pulsion of tyrants out of Italy ; and that in case the king 
refused or neglected it, God would punish him severely ; 
all which former sermons and those which he preached at 
this time, he caused to be printed, and they are to be pur- 
chased at this day. His threats to the king of God's severe 
anger if he returned not into Italy, he wrote several times 
to his majesty a little before his death ; and he told me as 
much at my return from Italy, assuring me that sentence 
was pronounced in heaven against the king, provided he 
refused to observe what God had commanded, and did not 
keep his soldiers from plundering. 

About the time of the king's death there were great divi- 
sions among the Florentines. Some expected the king's 
return, and very earnestly desired it, upon confidence in 
Friar Jerome's assurance ; and in that confidence they ex- 
hausted and ruined themselves in their expenses to promote 
t lie recovery of Pisa and the rest of the towns which they 
had delivered to the king ; but Pisa remained in possession 
of the Venetians. Some of the citizens were for siding 

* Charles VIII. died on the 7th of April, and Savonarola on tb» 
23rd of Mny. 



2fc6 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1498. 

with the league and deserting our king ; and these alleged 
that all was but folly and delusion, and that Friar Jerome 
was a heretic and a hypocrite, and that he ought to be 
put into a sack and thrown into the river; but he had 
friends in the town who protected him against that fate. 
The Pope and the Duke of Milan wrote often against him, 
assuring the Florentines that Pisa and the rest of their 
towns should be restored, if they would abandon our king 
and punish Friar Jerome. It accidentally happened, that 
at the time of the king's death the Signory consisted chiefly 
Of Friar Jerome's enemies (for the Signory in that city is 
Changed every two months), who suborned a Cordelier* to 
quarrel with him, and to proclaim him a heretic and an 
abuser of the people, in pretending to revelation, and to 
declare publicly that he had no such gift; and, to prove 
what he said, he challenged him to the ordeal of fire before 
the Signory. Friar Jerome had more wit than to accept 
this challenge; but one of his brethren j offered to do it for 
him, and another of the Cordeliers } volunteered to do as 
much on the other side ; so that a day § was appointed when 
they were to come to their trial, and both of them presented 
themselves to enter the fire accompanied by all the friars of 
their orders. The Jacobite brought the Host in his hand, 
which the Signory and Cordeliers insisted he should lay by ; 
but the Jacobite, being obstinate to the contrary, and re- 
solved not to part with it, they returned all to their 
convents. Whereupon the people, encouraged by Friar 
Jerome's enemies, and authorised by the Signory, went to 
his convent and fetched him and two more of his brethren || 
out, and tortured them most cruelly, killing the chief man 

» Friar Francis of Apulia, of the Order of Minor Observantines. His 
challenge to Savonarola was in these terms: " I know," he said, " I am 
a sinner; I have not the presumption to perform miracles: nevertheless, 
let a fire be lighted, and I am ready to enter it with him. I am certain 
of perishing, but Christian charity teaches me not to withhold my life i£ 
in sacrificing it, I might precipitate into hell an heresiarch, who baa 
already drawn down into it so many souls." — Sismondi, xii. 461. 

f Friar Domenico Buouvicino. 

% Friar Andrea Rondinelli. 

§ On the 17th of April, in the public square of Florence. 

g These were Domenico Buouvicino and Silvestro Meniffi. 



1498.] OBSEQUIES OF CHARLES VTO. 287 

in the city (called Francisco Vallori*), only for being his 
friend. The Pope sent them power and commission to 
make out process against him, and at last he, and his two 
brethren were burnt, f The charge against him consisted 
only of two articles ; that he created disorder in the city, 
and that he was an impostor; and that what he pretended 
to know by revelation he was told by his friends in the 
council. For my own part I will neither condemn no! 
excuse him, nor will I say they did ill or well in putting 
him to death ; but I am sure he foretold several things 
which afterwards came to pass, and which all his friends 
in Florence could never have suggested. And as to our 
master and the evils with which he threatened him, they 
happened exactly as you have heard, first the death of the 
Dauphin, and then his own death ; predictions of which I 
have seen in letters under his own hand to the king. 



Ch. XXVII.— Of the Obsequies and Funeral of King Charles VIII., 
and the Coronation of his Successor Louis XII.; with the Genealogie* 
of the Kings of France to King Louis XII. — 1498. 

The distemper of which the king died was an apoplexy, or 
a catarrh, which the physicians hoped would have fallen 
down into one of his arms, and, though it might have taken 
away the use of that member, they were in no fear of his 
death. His majesty had four physicians about him, but his 
greatest confidence was in him that had the least knowledge 
and experience in physic ; and by his directions he was so en- 
tirely governed, that the other three durst not give their 
judgments, though they saw the indications of death, and 
would gladly have ordered him a purge three or four days 
before. All people addressed themselves to the Duke of 
Orleans immediately, as next heir to the crown ; but the 

* Francesco Valori had been chief gonfalonier of the city during tin 
preceding year. 

f On the 23rd of May, 1498. 



288 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1498. 

gentlemen of King Charles's bed-chamber buried him in 
great pomp and solemnity. As soon as he was dead, service 
was begun for his soul, which continued day and night ; for 
when the Canons had done the Cordeliers began ; and when 
they had ended, the Bons-hommes or Minims took it up, for 
they were an order of his own foundation. He lay eight days 
at Amboise, part of the time in a chamber very richly hung, 
and part in the church. In short, he lay in great state, 
and the whole solemnity was more costly than the funeral 
of any of his predecessors had been. The gentlemen of his 
bed-chamber, all that had waited on his person, and all the 
officers of his court, never stirred from his corpse, but 
watched it constantly ; and the service continued till his 
body was interred, which was about a month after* ; and, as 
I have been told by some of the officers of his exchequer, 
this ceremony cost forty-five thousand francs. I came to 
Amboise two days after his death, went to pay my devotions 
upon his bier, and stayed there five or six hours. To speak 
impartially, I never saw so solemn a mourning for any 
prince, nor one that continued so long ; and no wonder, for 
he had been more bountiful to his favourites, to the gentle- 
men of his bed-chamber, and to ten or twelve gentlemen of 
his privy-chamber, had treated them better, and given them 
greater estates than any king had ever done before, ; and in- 
deed he gave them too much. Besides, he was the most 
affable and sweetest natured prince in the world. I verily 
believe he never said a word to any man that could in reason 
displease him ; so that he could never have died in a better 
hour to make himself memorable in history, and lamented by 
all who had served him. I do really think I was the only 
person in the whole world to whom he was unkind ; but, 
being sensible that he was in his youth, and my treatment 
not at all his own doing, I could not resent it. 

Having lain one night at Amboise, I went and paid my 
respects to the new king, with whom I had been formerly as 
intimate as any other person about the court, and much of 
my troubles and losses were incurred for his sake ; but now 
all our former acquaintance and the service I had done him 
were forgotten. However, he entered upon his government 

* The corpse was conveyed from Amboise on the 1 7th of April. 



1498. J ACCESSION OF LOUIS XIT. 239 

with great wisdom. He altered not any pensions for that 
year, though they were still to last for six months. He re- 
trenched nothing of his salaries, but declared that every 
officer in his kingdom should continue in the post in which 
he found him ; which was very honourable and discreet. 
As soon as all things were made ready, he proceeded to his 
coronation *, and I was there among the rest. The peers of 
France (according to ancient custom) were represented by 
these following : The Duke of Alencon represented the 
Duke of Burgundy ; the Duke of Bourbon the Duke of Nor- 
mandy ; and the Duke of Lorraine the Duke of Guienne. 
The first of the Counts was Monsieur de Bavestain, who 
represented the Count of Flanders. The second was Engil- 
bert of Cleves, who represented the Count of Champagne, 
and the third was Monsieur de Foix, who represented the 
Count of Toulouse. The said coronation was at Bheims on 
the 27th of May, 1498, and Louis XII. was the fourth king 
wlio came collaterally to the crown. The two first were 
Charles Martel, or Pepin his son, and Hugh Capet, both of 
them mayors of the palace, or governors of their kings, who 
afterwards turned usurpers, deposed their masters, and took 
the government upon themselves. The third king was 
Philip of Valois, and the fourth King Louis, who now reigns. 
But the two last came by a just and indisputable title to the 
crown. The first race of the Kings of France is deduced 
from Meroveus: there had been two kings before this Me- 
roveus, that is to say, Pharamond, (who was the first that 
was elected King of France ; for, before his time they were 
called Dukes or Kings of Gaul,) and after him one of his 
sons called Clodion. Pharamond was chosen king in the 
year 420, and reigned ten years ; his son Clodion reigned 
eighteen, so that Pharamond and his son reigned twenty- 
eight years. Meroveus, who succeeded, was not Clodion's 
eon, but his kinsman; so that there seem to have been five 
interruptions in the royal line. However, as I said before, 
the genealogy of the Kings of France begins generally at 
Meroveus, who was made King in the year 418 ; so that the 
right line is derived from thence, and runs down to Louis 
XII., who was crowned one thousand and fifty years after 

* He was consecrated and crowned at Rhcims by Cardinal Brii;onnct, 
on the 27th of May, 14 ( J8.— Anselme, i. 127. 
VOL. II. 



£90 THE MEMOIRS OF PHILIP DE COMMINES. [1498. 

the pedigree of the said kings began. They who would de- 
rive it from King Pharamond need only add twenty-eight 
more, and the number will amount to one thousand and 
seventy-eight years since there were kings called kings of 
France. From Meroveus to King Pepin there were three 
hundred and thirty-three years, during which time the line 
of Meroveus lasted. From King Pepin to Hugh Capet there 
were two hundred and thirty-seven years ; and during that 
time the line of King Pepin and his son Charlemagne con- 
tinued. Hugh Capet's line lasted three hundred and thirty- 
nine years, and expired at the accession of Philip de Valois ; 
and the line of the said Philip de Valois became extinguished 
in Charles VIII., who (as is said before) died in the year 
1498, and was the last of that family, which had continued 
to possess the kingdom one 'Hundred and sixty-nine years, 
during which time seven kings had succeeded of that line, 
that is to say, Philip de Valois, King John, King Charles 
V., King Charles VI., King Charles VII., King Louis XI., 
and King Charles VIIL, who was the last of the right line 
of Philip de Valois. 



BND OF THE MEMOffiS OF PHILIP DE COMMINUS. 



HISTORY 



OP 



LOUIS XL KING OF FMNCB, 

AND OF THE MEMORABLE OCCURRENCES OP HIS REIG!», 
FROM THE YEAR 1460 TO 14S3; 

OTHERWISE CALLED 

THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE, 

WRITTEN BY A 

CLERK IN THE HOTEL DE VILLE OF PARIS. 



l» 9 



EDITOR'S PREFACE. 



The Scandalous Chronicle forms so valuable a supplement 
to the Memoirs of Commines, that I have determined to 
follow the example of previous editors, and insert it in this 
place. In reliance on the opinion of Petitot, I have ascribed 
its authorship to Jean de Troj'es. 

The literary history of this work is somewhat singular. 
The first known edition was published under the following 
title, — The Chronicle of the very Christian and very victori- 
ous Louis of Valois (whom God absolve!), eleventh of the 
name ; with various other adventures which occurred in the 
kingdom of France, as well as in neighbouring countries, from 
the year 1460 to the year 1483 inclusive. It is a small folio 
volume, printed in Gothic characters, and was probably pub- 
lished about the end of the fifteenth century, though the 
title-page bears no date, and mentions neither the author's 
nor the printer's name. The three following editions are 
equally silent as to the authorship of the work ; but the 
fifth edition, published in 1529, ascribes it to a clerk in the 
Hotel de Ville of Paris. In 1583, Gilles Corrozet, in his 
Tresor des Histoires de France, quotes it as " The Chronicle 
of King Louis XL otherwise called the Scandalous Chronicle, 
by Jean de Troyes ; " and in the following year, La Croix 
du Maine, in his Bibliotheque Frangaise, makes this state- 
ment: "Jean de Troyes was a French historian of the time 



294 editor's preface. 

of Louis XL, king of France ; lie wrote a chronicle of the 
said king, which is vulgarly called the Scandalous Chro- 
nicle, because it makes mention of everything done by the 
said king, and relates matters which are not greatly to 
his advantage, but rather to his dishonour and scandal." 

Such is the authority for the name and authorship of the 
work ; and though slight, it has been deemed sufficient by most 
bibliographers, notwithstanding the controversies raised by 
some eminent writers on the subject. The Chronicle was 
first appended to the Memoirs of Commines, in Jean Gode- 
froy's edition, published at Brussels in 1713. It will also be 
found in Lenglet du Fresnoy's edition, published in 1747. 

The present translation is from the text in Petitot's great 
collection of memoirs relating to the history of France. 

But although it has been agreed to attribute this Chronicle 
to Jean de Troyes, no researches have succeeded in discover- 
ing any particulars in relation to the author himself. It has 
not even been positively established whether he can be 
identified with the clerk in the Hotel de Ville of Paris, 
mentioned on the title-page of some of the earlier editions. 
In fact, all is speculation regarding him: but it is conjectured 
reasonably enough by Grosley that he was a son of a certain 
Jean de Troyes mentioned by Juvenal des Ursins as having 
distinguished himself in the disturbances at Paris during the 
reign of Charles VI., and who was appointed Grand Master 
of the Artillery by Charles VII , in reward for his services. 

It is hard to understand why this should have been called 
the Scandalous Chronicle ; unless, as Sorel suggests, the 
name was given to it by some bookseller in order to pique 
the curiosity of the public. Far from seeking to defame 
Louis XL, the author omits all mention of a vast number of 
the actions most discreditable to his memory ; and in regard 
to his gallantries, he is almost as silent as Commines. The 
chief characteristic of the work is its straightforward sim- 



editor's preface 295 

plicity : it is full of curious remarks on passing events, such 
as might be made by a superficial observer, who took no 
pains to penetrate into the causes and consequences of the 
occurrences he describes. It is this quality which renderg 
the perusal of the memoirs of Jean de Troyes most interest- 
ing, after reading those of Commines. The latter unmasks 
the policy of his sovereign, reveals all his intrigues, and 
indicates the secret springs of his conduct ; the former 
attempts nothing of the kind, but merely portrays events in 
the light in which Louis XL desired that they should be seen 
by his subjects. Take, for instance, the narrative of the 
king's visit to Peronne, in 1468. No one would suppose, 
from the account given by Jean de Troyes, that Louis, a 
dupe to his own artifices, had imprudently placed himself in 
the power of the Duke of Burgundy, and heen detained a 
prisoner by him; the treaties concluded in the town appear 
to have been signed freely by the French monarch, who 
thereupon voluntarily consented to join Duke Charles in 
his expedition against the Liegeois. After reading the 
true history of the whole affair in Commines, it is curious to 
notice the colour which the king gave to it in the eyes of his 
subjects, in order to keep them in ignorance of the dangers 
he had incurred by his own fault, and of the excess of 
humiliation to which he had been subjected by his less wily 
rival. 

In many other respects, this Chronicle is no less valuable 
and instructive. It is not only remarkable for many curious 
traits characteristic of its individual author ; but it contains 
interesting details of the manners and customs, of the habits 
and domestic life, of the Parisians, and of the view they took 
of contemporary events. Indeed, no existing work supplies 
us with a better picture of Paris as it was towards the end 
of the fifteenth century. 

As Jean de Troyes for the most part relates only what he 

L 4 



296 editor's preface. 

heard, and was seldom an e)'ewitness of the occurrence* 
which he chronicles, there are many errors in his memoirs ; 
hut these may easily be rectified by reference to the parallel 
passages in Commines, where they have not been expressly 
corrected in the noies. 

A. E. SCOP LB. 



C!)e 5>ranfcaIousf C(rimfde« 



THE CHRONICLES 

OP THE 

VERY CHRISTIAN AND VERY VICTORIOUS 

LOUIS OF VALOIS, 

LATE KING OF FRANCE (WHOM 
GOD ABSOLVE), 



TABIOU8 OTHER ADVENTURES WHICH OCCURRED BOTH IN THE REALM 

OF FRANCE AND IN NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES, FROM THE 

TEAR 1460 UNTIL 1-483, INCLUSIVELY 



To the honour and praise of God, our sweet Saviour and 
Redeemer, and the blessed glorious Virgin Mary, without 
whose assistance no good works can be performed. Knowing 
that several kings, princes, counts, barons, prelates, noble- 
men, ecclesiastics, and abundance of the common people, are 
often pleased and delighted in hearing and reading the sur- 
prising histories of wonderful things that have happened in 
divers places both of this and other Christian states and 
kingdoms, I have applied myself with abundance of pleasure, 
from the 3oth year of my age, instead of spending my time 
in sloth and idleness, to writing a history of several remark- 
able accidents and adventures that happened in France, an.d 
in other neighbouring kingdoms, as far as my memory would 
permit me; but especially from the year 1460, in the reign 
of Charles VII., to the death of Louis XI., his son, who 
died on the 30th of August, in the ye;ir 1483. However, 
I neither design nor expect that tins historical essay of mine 



298 THE sCANDALOLS CI1KONICLE. [1460 

should be called a Chronicle, being wholly unfit for so 
bold an undertaking ; neither indeed was I ever employed 
or permitted to write one; but what I have here ventured 
to record, is purely by way of amusement to please and 
divert those who will give themselves the trouble of reading 
it or hearing it read ; whom I also humbly entreat to excuse, 
and supply my ignorance, by correcting and altering what- 
ever they find amiss ; for abundance of these remarkable 
accidents have happened after so very different and so 
strange a manner, that it would have been a very difficult 
task, either for me or any other writer, to have given an 
exact and particular account of every thing that happened 
during so long a period of time. 

1460. 

And first of all, then, I must speak concerning the good- 
ness and fertility of the earth in the year 1460, which was 
so prodigiously fruitful throughout the whole kingdom of 
France, and bore such plenteous crops of corn, that at the 
very dearest time a quarter of wheat was sold for only 
twenty-four Parisian sols ; but there was a great scarcity of 
fruit, and as for the vines, there was but little wine, espe- 
cially in the Isle of France, so that they had scarce an hogs- 
head to every acre of ground, but the wine was extraor- 
dinarily good, and that which grew in the fat vineyards 
round Paris was sold very dear, and bore the price of ten or 
eleven crowns a hogshead. 

About that time several poor indigent wretches that were 
guilty of thieving, sacrilege, house-breaking, and other 
enormous crimes, were made an example of, and severely 
punished at Paris ; amongst whom some were only whipped 
at the cart's tail, and afterwards pardoned, as being their 
first offence ; and others, who were old offenders, and had 
been often guilty of crimes of the like nature, were con- 
demned to be hanged, and executed accordingly- 
Much about that time also a certain woman, named 
Perrette Mauger, was condemned to be burnt alive for 
having committed several robberies, and for harbouring and 
concealing several notorious thieves and house-breakers, who 
had committed divers robberies in and about Paris ; as also 
for having sold and disposed of the said goods that were 



1460.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 299 

stolen by these thieves, and sharing with them the money 
that arose from the sale thereof: for which crimes, and 
several others besides, which she confessed at last, she was 
condemned by M. Rohert Destouteville, mayor of Paris, to 
be burnt alive at the stake before the gallows, and all her 
goods and chattels to be forfeited to the king. From which 
sentence she formally appealed to the court of parliament, 
upon the account of which appeal her execution was de- 
ferred for some time ; but after the parliament had examined 
into her trial, they confirmed the above-mentioned sentence, 
and having declared that the said Perrette Mauger had no 
manner of grounds for her appeal, ordered it immediately to 
be executed ; upon wlrich she declared herself to be with 
child, which deferred the execution a little longer ; and 
presently a jury of midwives and matrons was impannelled, 
and ordered to search her, who, upon a strict examination, 
reported to the judges that she was not breeding, upon which 
report she was immediately ordered to be burnt before the 
gallows by Henry Cousin, hangman of Paris. 

Strange Adventures that happened in England in the same 

Year, 1460. 

In this year the Pope sent a legate into England, who 
preached to the people of that country, but especially in 
London, the chief city of that kingdom ; where he made 
several remonstrances to the inhabitants of that and the 
adjacent parts, much to the prejudice, and contrary to the 
interest of, Henry VI., king of England ; which remon- 
strances the Cardinal of York, who accompanied the legate, 
explained in their own language, with a long exposition on 
the same. Upon which the common people, who were 
wavering and fickle enough at the best, began to rise up in 
rebellion against King Henry, and his queen, daughter of 
Rene, King of Sicily and Jerusalem, and their son the 
Prince of Wales. The common people chose the Earl of 
Warwick for their head, who was governor of Calais, in the 
room of Richard, Duke of York, who pretended to be king, 
and boldly maintained the kingdom of England belonged to 
him, as being the next heir of the family of King Richard 
1L A little time afterwards the Duke of York, who had 



300 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1460, 

assembled a great number of tbe populace in arms, took the 
field, and marched directly to a park where Henry VI. was 
attended by several dukes, princes, and other lords, all in 
arms also. There were eight avenues that led to this park, 
and these were guarded by eight barons of the kingdom, all 
of them traitors and rebels to King Henry ; who, as soon as 
they were informed of the Duke of York's arrival, imme- 
diately gave him admittance into the park, with the Earl of 
Warwick, and several others, who went directly to the place 
where the King was, whom without any farther ceremony* 
they seized upon. Immediately after this action, they slew 
several princes and great lords of the blood royal that were 
with him. When the Earl of Warwick had so done, he took 
King Henry and brought him directly to London, carrying 
the naked sword before him, as if he had been his constable; 
and, upon his arrival at London, he led him straight to the 
Tower, in which there were four barons of the kingdom of 
King Henry's party, that were kept prisoners there ; to 
whom King Henry some time after, and the Earl of War- 
wick, gave very fair words, and released them out of the 
Tower, after they had solemnly promised them that their 
persons should be protected from all manner of danger 
whatsoever, and in confidence of these fair promises they 
consented to go out of the Tower. But as they were leading 
these four barons after King Henry and the Earl of Warwick, 
there happened to be an insurrection of the mob, and some 
of them came and killed one of the barons, and gave him 
several blows and contusions ; and the next day, notwith- 
standing all the fine promises that were made them, the 
three other barons were executed on Tower-hill. 

At the same time there arose a great quarrel between the 
king's officers belonging to the Court of Aids, and one of the 
beadles of the University of Paris, for some affront the said 
beadle had given to two counsellors of the same court ; for 

* Thomas, the son of Edward Talbot of Lancashire, apprehended 
King Henry VI. as he sat at dinner at Waddington Hall in Cleather- 
wood, in Lancashire; and, forgetting all respect due to so great a 
prince, like a common malefactor, with his legs tied under his horse's 
belly, guarded him up towards London. By the way the earl of War- 
wick met him, who arrested him. and taking off his gilt spurs, led him 
prisoner to the Tower. — Old note 



1460.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 301 

which misdemeanor the said beadle was put into the common 
gaol of Paris ; which method of proceeding the whole Uni- 
versity highly resented, and were so extremely displeased 
with it, that, till the affair was accommodated, and the 
beadle restored to his liberty, they refused either to preach, 
pray, or read to the people ; but, upon his enlargement, 
they were well satisfied, and performed their usual duty. 

About this time a certain person, called Anthony the 
Bastard of Burgundy, came into Paris in a disguise, and 
staid there only one day and a night; and when the inhabit- 
ants of the city were informed of his coming in that manner, 
several officers and men of note could not imagine what 
should be the meaning of it, and immediately despatched 
certain persons to carry the news of it to the king, who 
spoke very favourably of the citizens, and declared they 
were not in the least privy to his coming in that clandestine 
way. Upon which the king in all haste sent the Marshal 
de Loheac, and M. John Bureau, Treasurer of France, to 
inquire into the truth of the relation that was brought him, 
and to take all the care imaginable to prevent whatever 
designs this emissary of the house of Burgundy might have 
formed in the city. At the same time also the citizens of 
Paris, (to free themselves from all manner of suspicion of 
their consenting to his coming incognito,) deputed some of 
the chief of their citizens, among whom were M. John de 
Lolive, Doctor of Divinity, and the Chancellors of the 
Church of Paris, Nicholas de Louviers, M. John Clerebourg, 
Master of the Mint ; M. John Lullier, Town Clerk ; James 
Kebours, Attorney ; John Volant, Merchant, and several 
others, to represent the matter fairly to the king. His 
majesty received them very graciously ; and, after they had 
ended their speech, which was made to clear their innocence, 
he was extremely well satisfied with them, and having given 
them a very mild and gracious answer, they returned to 
Paris with great joy and gladness of heart. 

At that time M. Robert Destouteville, who was mayor of 
Paris, was committed prisoner to the Bastille, and afterwards 
to the Louvre, by the command of the Marshal de Loheac 
and M. John Bureau ; for some injustice and abuses he had 
committed in the exercise of his office, though it was never 
fairly proved upon him. About that time also several ruda 



302 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1460. 

and uncivil actions were committed by M. John Advin, 
counsellor of the parliament of Paris, in the liouse of the 
said Destouteville, such as searching of boxes, trunks, and 
other places for letters ; not to mention the several incivi- 
lities he offered to the Lady Amhroise de Lore, his wife, 
who was a woman of great virtue, honour, and wisdom. 

In this year the rivers Seine and Marne were swollen 
so prodigiously, that in one night's time the Marne rose 
above six feet high about St. Maur des-Fossez, and did a 
great deal of damage in several places ; but among the 
rest, the river came up so high in a village called Claye, in 
which there was a palace belonging to the Bishop of Meaux, 
that it washed away all the brick-work of the front of it, 
where there were two stately towers newly erected, in which 
there were fine and large apartments richly furnished and 
adorned with tapestry, pictures, &c, but the river swept all 
away. 

About that time also it happened, that the body of the 
church of Fecamp in Normandy was burnt down to the 
ground by a fiery exhalation that came from the sea towards 
the Marches of Cornwall ; and caught hold of the steeple of 
the said abbey which was quite consumed, and all the bells 
melted down, to the great loss and detriment of the abbot 
and his whole fraternity. 

At the same time there was a great noise and discourse all 
over the kingdom of France, and other places, of a young 
girl of about eighteen years of age, who lived in the city of 
Mans, and played several ridiculous pranks and follies ; 
such as foaming at the mouth, leaping into the air, screaming 
out aloud, putting her body into a thousand convulsive mo- 
tions, and pretending to be tormented by the devil; by 
which antic tricks, and several others too tedious to mention 
here, she imposed upon and cheated abundance of people 
that came to see her. But at last she was discovered to be 
an idle hussy, and that she played all her devilish pranks by 
the instigation and contrivance of some of the officers be- 
longing to the Bishop of Mans, who maintained her for that 
purpose ; and had so far brought her to their beck, that she 
would do anything they bid her, and they had trained her up 
from her infancy to play these pranks. 

About the same time it happened in England, some time 



1460.1 THE SCANDALOUS CnROMCLE. 303 

after the Earl of Warwick's seizing upon the person of King 
Henry, that the Duke of Somerset the king's cousin, in con- 
junction with several young noblemen, relations and heirs to 
those who were slain at the taking of King Henry, having 
got together a considerable body of men, took the field, and 
marched directly against the Duke of York, found him en- 
camped in the plains of St. Albans*, where they gave him 
battle, and cut him and his whole army to pieces. In this 
battle the Duke of York was slain himself, and when his 
body was found they cut off his head, and by way of derision, 
because he pretended to the crown of England, they fixed it 
upon the point of a lance, and put a crown of straw in the 
form of a royal crown upon it. With him there fell in the 
battle six and twenty barons, knights, esquires, and persons 
of note in the kingdom ; besides a great number of common 
soldiers, amounting in all to above eight or nine thousand 
men. 

And on Wednesday the third of February in the same 
year 1460, were read and published at Rouen, and in several 
other places in the duchy of Normandy, in the public 
market-places by sound of trumpet, the king's letters patent ; 
by which he declared it was his royal will and pleasure that 
the whole country of Normandy, together with its seaports, 
should be free and open to all English men and women, of 
what rank or condition soever ; and in what habit soever 
they shall think fit to wear, (provided they were of King 
Henry's party,) and without having any passport, to have 
free liberty of trade and commerce throughout his whole 
kingdom. 



* The battle was not fought at St. Albans, but at Wakefield in 
Yorkshire, on the 30th of December, 1460, in which the Duke of 
York was killed, and afterwards had his head cut off, and by way 
of derision a crown of paper, not of straw, as our author writes, sit 
upon it, and presented to Queen Margaret, who not long after sent 
it with the heads of other lords to be fixed upon poles over the gate 
of the city of York. The person that committed this ungenerous action 
was the Lord Clifford, who, after the battle of Wakefield, in cold 
blood murdered the young Eurl of Rutland, the Duke of York's third 
Bon. — Old note. 



304 THE SCANDALOUS CIIKONICLfi. [1461. 

1461. 

In the year 1461, in the month of July, it happened that 
King Charles VII. fell sick at the castle of Meun upon the 
Yevre, of a distemper that was incurable, and of which he 
died on Wednesday the 22nd of July, between one and two 
o'clock, in the afternoon, much lamented by the whole king- 
dom ; as being a very wise and valiant prince, and leaving 
his kingdom in a very peaceful and flourishing condition. 

Immediately after the death of the king was publicly 
known, the greatest part of the officers of Paris, and several 
others of the kingdom, went to pay their respects to the 
Dauphin, who resided at the Duke of Burgundy's court at 
Hainault; and who by the decease of his father came to the 
crown of France. The occasion of their waiting on him 
there, was, to know his royal will and pleasure ; and whether 
they should be continued in the same posts and employments 
they enjoyed under his father : At which place after his 
death he made a promotion of several officers in the chamber 
of accounts or exchequer, at Paris : Amongst the rest, he 
made M. Peter l'Orfevre Lord of Ermenonville and Nicholas 
de Louviers counsellors of the same exchequer, and M. 
John Baillet master of the requests and reporter of the 
court of chancery : He also confirmed M. Simon Charles, 
who was carried in a litter into Hainault, in the place he 
was possessed of in the exchequer : and the rest of the 
officers that came thither to beg the favour of being con- 
tinued in their respective posts and employments, were or- 
dered back to Paris to wait for the king's coming thither. 

And upon the 24th of July, 1461, M. Etienne Chevalier, 
who was treasurer or chief director of the finances in the 
reign of the late King Charles, and whom he appointed to be 
one of the executors of his last will and testament, and also 
M. Dreux Bude, the grand audiencier* of France, went 
from Paris to see the king's corpse that lay in state at 
Meun ; but the Lord d'Aigreville, captain of Montargis, at 
the earnest solicitation of a certain gentleman named Vuaste 
de Morpedon, caused them both to be seized at Montargis ; 
where they remained prisoners for some time, till the king 

* One of the chief officers of the Chancery of France, who examine* 
all 1c ters-patent, &c, before they pass the seals. 



1461.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 305 

Bent orders for their release, and continued them both in 
their respective employments of treasurer and audiencier. 

But it was very observable, that on the 23rd of July, in 
1461, which was the next day after the king's death, a large 
blazing star was seen in the sky about seven o'clock at night, 
which cast such a glaring and resplendent light through the 
air, that all Paris seemed to be in a flame ; but Heaven in 
its mercy has been still pleased to preserve that good city. 

On Thursday the 6th of August, 1461, the body of the 
late King Charles VII. was brought from Meun with great 
solemnity, to the Church of Notre-Dame in the Fields, with- 
out the gates of Paris ; and the next day the clergy, no« 
bility, officers, citizens, and abundance of the populace re- 
paired thither, and conducted it from thence to Paris, with 
a great deal of pomp, ceremony, and respect, as is usual 
upon such occasions. The funeral procession was thus re- 
gulated. Before the corpse were borne two hundred wax- 
candles of four pounds each, adorned and painted with the 
arms of France, and carried by two hundred inferior persons 
dressed in long mourning robes and black caps. The body 
was borne in a litter by the salt-porters of Paris, and it was 
lined and covered with a rich cloth of gold, valued at one 
thousand two hundred crowns of gold ; and upon the top of 
it was placed the effigies of the late king Charles dressed in 
his royal robes, with a crown on his head, holding in one 
hand a sceptre, and in the other a regal truncheon. And in 
this state it was carried to the great Church of Notre-Dame 
in Paris ; all the bellmen of the. city clothed also in black, 
and bearing on each side of their gowns the arms of France, 
marching before it ; and after them came ihose that bore 
the candles, adorned and painted with the same arms, before 
the litter. After the litter came the Duke of Orleans and 
the Count d'Angouleme as chief mourners, accompanied by 
the Counts d'Eu and Dunois ; M. John Jouvenelle des 
Ursins, knight and chancellor of France, and the master of 
the horse ; all clothed in deep mourning, and mounted on 
horseback. Next to them marched all the officers of the 
household to the late king, on foot, by two and two, dressed 
in deep mourning also ; and close to the litter rode six pages 
in black upon six fine horses covered all over with black 
velvet, which was a very dismal and melancholy Bight to 

VOL. U. X 



306 THE SCANDALOUS CHliONlCLE. [1461 

behold. And there was such an universal concern and la» 
mentation for his death, that scarce a dry eye was left in the 
whole city ; nay, it is reported, that one of his pages took 
nis master's death so to heart, that for four whole days toge- 
ther Le neither ate nor drank anything. The next day, 
which was the 9th of August, his body was removed from 
the Church of Notre-Dame, in Paris, about three in the 
afternoon, and carried with the above-mentioned pomp and 
ceremony to St. Denis, where it was deposited, and now 
lies. 

Towards the end of this month our most gracious sove- 
reign Louis XI., then only dauphin and eldest son of Charles 
VII. lately deceased, was crowned King of France at 
Rheims by the Archbishop Jouvenal, where he was attended 
by the greatest part of the nobility of his kingdom. 

Upon the last day of this month of August, the king set 
out from an hotel named Les Porcherons, which was in the 
suburbs near the gate of St. Honore, belonging to M. John 
Bureau, who was knighted at his coronation at Rheims, in 
order to make his public entry into Paris ; upon which the 
whole body of the nobility, clergy, and gentry came out to 
pay their homage to him, and welcome him to their city ; 
amongst whom were the Bishop of Paris named William 
Chartier, the whole University, the Court of Parliament, 
the Mayor of Paris, all the officers of the Exchequer, and the 
provost of the merchants, with the aldermen in their damask 
robes lined with sables. And the mayor and aldermen, 
after they had saluted and paid their respects to the king, 
presented him with the keys of the city gates, through which 
he was to make his entry, which lie very graciously returned ; 
and then the way was ordered to be cleared, to make room 
for others to approach his majesty, and make their compli- 
ment to him, of which number he made a great many 
knights on the spot. As the king passed through the gate 
of St. Denis, he found near the Church of St. Ladre a 
herald mounted on horseback, and clothed in the city livery, 
who presented to him five ladies on the part of the city, 
richly dressed, and mounted on five fine horses sumptuously 
accoutred with rich furniture, on which were embroidered 
the city arms ; and these five ladies were habited after a sort 
of manner representing the five letters of Paris, and every 



146!.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 307 

one of them made a speech to the king, which was prepared 
for tliem beforehand. 

There was a very great appearance at the king's public 
entry into Paris, both of his own nobility, and of foreign 
princes and noblemen, amongst whom were the Dukes of 
Orleans, Burgundy, Bourbon, and Cleves, the Count de 
Charolois, the Duke of Burgundy's eldest son, the Counts 
d'Angouleme, St. Paul, and Dunois, besides several other 
earls, barons, knights, captains, and a great number of per- 
sons of note and distinction, who, in honour of the day, and 
to augment the splendour and magnificence of the triumphal 
entry, had bestowed vast sums in rich and costly furniture, 
with which their horses were caparisoned : some of their 
housings were of the richest cloth of gold, made after dif- 
ferent fashions, and lined with sables ; others were of crimson 
velvet, lined with ermine or rich damask, embroidered with 
gold and silver, and hung round with great silver bells, which 
were of a considerable value ; and upon the horses rode fine 
young pages, the very flower of youth and beauty, richly 
dressed, and wearing embroidered scarfs over their 
shoulders, that hung down to the crupper, which made a 
very noble and gallant show. 

The Parisians on this occasion caused a very fine ship to 
be cast in silver, which was borne aloft upon men's shoulders, 
and just as the king made his entry through the gate of St. 
Denis, it was placed upon the drawbridge near the said 
gate, to represent the city arms. In it were placed three 
persons representing the three estates of the kingdom ; and 
in the stern and the poop sat two more personating justice 
and equity; and out of the scuttle, which was formed in the 
shape of a fleur-de-lis, issued a king dressed in royal robes, 
and attended by two angels. A little farther, at the fountain 
du Ponceau, there were wild men that played the parts of 
gladiators, and near them were placed three handsome 
wenches, representing mermaids, sporting and singing gay 
enlivening airs, which were humoured and accompanied with 
the melodious harmony of soft music. And to comfort and 
refresh the people, there were several pipes in the said 
fountain that ran milk, wine, and hippocras, of which every 
one drank what he pleased ; and a little below the fountain, 
the passion of our Saviour was represented as he was crucified 

X 2 



30S THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1161. 

between two thieves. At a little distance from tins crucifix 
there were posted a band of men richly dressed, representing 
hunters that had just run down a stag, whose death was 
accompanied with the melodious noise of dogs and horns ; 
and in the Rue de la Boucherie there were large scaffolds 
erected in the form of the Bastile at Dieppe. And when 
the king had passed by them, the English who were within 
the Bastile were furiously attacked by the king's soldiers, 
taken prisoners, and had all their throats cut. Opposite to 
the gate of the Chastellet there was a fine appearance of 
persons of quality ; all the windows were hung with rich 
tapestry, and the streets through which the king passed were 
crowded with a prodigious number of people. In this pomp- 
ous manner he proceeded to the Church of Notre-Dame ; 
and having performed his devotions to the blessed Virgin, he 
returned to his royal palace, where he had a splendid and mag- 
nificent entertainment, and lay there that night. The next 
morning, which was the first of September in the year 1461, 
he removed from thence into his Hotel des Tournelles, near 
the Bastile de St. Antoine, where he staid some time, during 
which he made several acts and ordinances, and turned 
several of the officers of his kingdom out of their posts and em- 
ployments, amongst the rest the Chancellor Juvenal des 
Ursins, the marshal, the admiral, the first president of the 
Court of Parliament, and the provost of Paris, and put new 
ones in their places. 

He also made a new regulation in all his courts of justice 
and offices belonging to the crown, especially in the Ex- 
chequer, Treasury, and the Mint, turning out abundance 
of counsellors, secretaries, receivers-general, clerks, and 
other officers of an inferior nature, and putting others in 
their room. 

The 3rd of September, 1461, the king, attended by some 
of the lords and gentlemen of his court, was entertained at 
supper in the house of one M. William de Corbie, a coun- 
sellor of the court of Parliament, whom he made President, 
of Dauphiny that very night. There were abundance of 
fine ladies and honest citizens' wives to see the king at 
supper ; and during his stay at Paris he ordered several 
feasts and entertainments to be made in divers places of the 
city on purpose to treat and divert them. 

About this time it happened, that a beautiful young 



1464 ] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 309 

Troman named Joan du Bois, wife to a certain officer belong- 
ing to the Chastellet of Paris, made an elopement from her 
husband, but afterwards, by the counsel and advice of his in- 
timate friends, he took her home again. She became a very 
good woman, and lived a sober and virtuous life with her 
husband afterwards. 

1462-3. 

In the years 1462 and 1463 nothing material or worth 
recording happened, and therefore I have passed them over 
in silence. And as for the year 1463, as I have already 
observed, there was nothing happened in it worth taking 
notice of, unless it was the shortness of the winter and the 
length of the summer, which was extremely pleasant, and 
very favourable to the vines, so that we had plenty of good 
wine that year, but a great scarcity of all other fruits of the 
earth. 

1464. 

In the year 1464, upon Tuesday the 15th of May, the 
king came from Nogent le Roy, where the queen was 
brought to bed of a young princess ; and on the same day in 
the evening supped at the house of M. Charles d'Orgemont 
Lord of Mery, and from thence he set out for the frontiers 
of Picardy, where he expected to have found the ambas- 
sadors whom Edward King of England had promised to 
send thither to him, but they never came ; whereupon the 
king left Picardy and made a progress to Rouen, and several 
other places in Normandy. About that time it happened 
that a small vessel of Dieppe was seized upon the coast of 
Holland by some of the Duke of Burgundy's ships, in which 
there was a person named the Bastard of Rubempre, who, with 
the rest of the ship's crew, was immediately clapped into 
prison, upon pretence that their design of hovering about 
those parts was purely to seize upon the person of the Count 
de Charolois: and this report the Flemings spread abroad 
everywhere, but there was nothing in it. 

About that time the king set out from Normandy in his 
return to Nogent, from whence he went to visit Tours, 
Chinon, and Poitiers, at which place arrived the deputies 
that were sent by the city of Paris to desire his majesty to 

X 3 



310 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1464. 

grant them farther privileges ; but all they were able to 
obtain of him was, only to be exempted from a small tax 
called the Foreign Impost, which was no great matter ; and 
even that small gift they did not enjoy, for the clerks 
of the Exchequer, to whom their letters patent were di- 
rected, were negligent, and would not despatch their business 
in time. The ambassadors of the Duke of Bretagne were 
likewise to wait on him there, whom he heard upon several 
articles that were brought him in relation to the affair 
between the duke and him ; which articles, or at least the 
greatest part of them, were granted and allowed by his 
majesty ; and by those articles of agreement the said ambas- 
sadors did promise and engage that their master the Duke of 
Bretagne should wait on his majesty, either at Poitiers or 
elsewhere, to confirm and ratify the said articles. After 
which, the ambassadors took their leave of the king, pre- 
tending to return into Bretagne; but they did quite the con- 
trary, as you will find hereafter. The day they set out 
from Poitiers, which was Saturday, they went but four 
leagues, where they stayed till the Monday following ; and 
upon Sunday the Duke of Berry, the king's own brother, 
departed from Poitiers also, and lay that night with the 
ambassadors, who received him with abundance of kindness 
and civility, and the next morning early in great haste they 
all set out together for Bretagne, fearing lest the king 
should be informed of his brother's going with them, and 
upon that account follow them: besides the Count deDunois 
was already arrived at the Duke of Bretagne's court, which 
would be apt to give the king a suspicion of some secret 
designs on foot against him. 

Soon after the departure of these ambassadors, the Duke 
of Bourbon declares war against the king, and invades his 
dominions, seizing upon whatever belonged to the king, in 
his territories, and putting the Lord de Croussol, a great 
favourite of the king's, under an arrest. This Lord de 
Croussol was only passing through his country with his lady 
and the rest of his family ; however, they were all of them 
arrested and confined in the city of Cosne in Bourbonnois. 

After this, William Juvenal des Ursins Lord of Traynel, 
formerly chancellor of France, and M. Peter Doriollc the 
late treasurer, were also arrested ia the citj of Moulin8| 



1164.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. oil 

where they endured a Ion? imprisonment ; but at last the 
Duke of Bourbon released them, and gave them liberty to 
go back to the king. 

On Sunday the 12th of March, in the year 1464, after 
the Duke of Berry's departure from Poitiers, Anthony 
Chabannes Count de Dammartin, who was a prisoner in 
the Bastile de St. Antoine, made his escape and fled into 
Berry and Bourbonnois, where he was kindly received. 
But several who were suspected to have been accessary to his 
escape, were immediately committed to prison. 

On Wednesday the 15th of March, M. Charles de Melun 
the king's lieutenant, M. John Balue Bishop of Evreux, and 
M. John le Prevost, with the king's secretary, met together 
in the Hotel de Ville, where they caused several articles, that 
the king had given them in charge, to be read ; and after the 
reading was over, they made several acts and ordinances for 
the better defence and security of the city. Amongst the rest, 
there was a particular order to appoint a strong watch to 
guard the city gates by night, to shut them at a fixed 
hour, to have iron chains fastened at the end of every street, 
to bar them up upon any occasion ; and several others, 
which being too long to be inserted here, I shall for brevity's 
sake omit them. 

But after the escape of the Count de Dammartin, the 
king found out a stratagem to surprise the two strong places 
of Fourgeau and Morue, which were defended by Jeflery 
Coeur, son of the late Jacques Coeur, whom he made prisoner, 
and seized upon all the riches he found in them. 

As soon as this business was over, the king, attended by 
the King of Sicily and the Lord du Maine, marched towards 
Angers and Pont de Ce, to demand of those who had so 
basely deserted him what reasons induced them to retire 
and withdraw themselves into Bretagne. He ordered his 
arm}', which was chiefly composed of the standing forces of 
the kingdom, and amounted to twenty or thirty thousand 
men, immediately to follow him ; but after he had been 
there for some time, and found he could not possibly finish 
the war on that side so soon as he expected, he marched 
with a strong detachment and some cannon into the duchy 
of Berry, towards Yssoudun, Viarzon, Dreux, and other 
neighbouring towns, leaving the King of Sicily and the 

x 4 



312 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465. 

Count du Maine with a good body of troops to defend and 
guard the passes, and to hinder the Bretons from pene- 
trating either into Normandy, or into an)' other part of his 
kingdom. 

The king made hut a short stay in the Duchy of Berry, 
and from thence he marched into Bourbonnois, leaving the 
city of Bourges behind him, in which there was a strong 
garrison commanded by Monsieur the Duke of Bourbon's 
bastard, who held it for the Duke of Berry. He marched into 
Bourbonnois, where the town and castle of St. Aniant Lalier 
were taken by storm on the day of our Lord's ascension, and 
a little after the town and castle of Molucon surrendered 
upon articles of capitulation, in which were James de Bour- 
bon with about thirty-five lances, who took an oath never to 
bear arms against the king again, upon which they were 
suffered to march out without being plundered, and had the 
liberty of going where they pleased. 

Upon Ascension-eve the Chancellor Traynel, M. Estienne 
Chevalier, Nicholas de Louviers, and M. John de Molins 
arrived at Paris, by whom the king wrote to his good people 
and citizens of that place, thanking them for their good in- 
clinations and loyalty to him, exhorting them to continue 
firm and steadfast in their allegiance, and commanding them 
to conduct the que^n safe to Paris, where he would have her 
lie in, as he loved that city above any in his kingdom. 

1465. 

On Thursday the 30th of May, in 1465, it happened that 
one John de Hure, merchant of the city of Sens, came with 
his nephew and some other company to lodge in a mill, 
which was called the Little Mill, on the other side of Moret 
in Gastinois ; and about midnight thirty or forty horse, well 
armed, came and beat up their quarters, plundered them of 
all they had, and carried away the merchant and his whole 
company prisoners. At the same time the king ordered the 
bridges of Chamois and Beaumont on the Oise, with several 
others, to be broken, down. 

About that time the Bastard of Burgundy and the Mar- 
shal of Burgundy, with a considerable body of the Count de 
Chaiolois's forces, invaded the king's dominions, and took 



1465.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 318 

from him the towns of Roye and Montdidier. Upon which 
the Count de Neversand Joachim Rouault Marshal of France, 
who were in Peronne with a garrison of about four thousand 
men, retired with part of them to Noyon and Compiegne, 
leaving some of the nobility with about five hundred Frank 
archers in Peronne for its defence. 

At the same time the king, who was then in Bourbonnois, 
left that country and retired to St. Poursain, whither his 
sister the Duchess of Bourbon and Auvergne came also to 
wait on him, being extremely concerned at the difference 
that there was between the king her brother and her husband 
the Duke of Bourbon, and she hoped by that means to have ac- 
commodated matters between them ; but it was not in her 
power to do it. In the mean time, however, the Duke of 
Bourbon evacuated Moulins, and retired to Riom. 

About this time came orders for the besieging of St. 
Maurice, which the Count de Dammartin obstinately held 
against the king. M. Charles de Melun, Bailiff of Sens, 
with several others of the same corporation, had the di- 
rection of that siege, but finding the body of men that were 
under their command too weak for such an undertaking, M. 
Anthony Bailiff of Melun was ordered thither with a 
strong reinforcement of archers and cross-bow-men from 
Paris, and upon the arrival of these forces, the count beat 
a retreat, and surrendered the town upon articles of capitu- 
lation. 

On the 25th of June, it was ordered by the magistrates of 
Paris assembled in the Hotel de Ville. that the streets should 
be unchained, but that the iron chains should still remain 
hanging at the corner of every street to which they be- 
longed, in order to have them in a readiness upon any oc- 
casion; that persons should be deputed to examine what con- 
dition they were in, and if they wanted mending to get 
them instantly repaired, and keep them always fit for ser- 
vice ; which was accordingly done. There was also another 
order issued out, by which every citizen was obliged to take 
arms, and to lay in a stock of provision and ammunition for 
the defence of the city in case of need; and this order 
was sent in writing to every particular housekeeper in 
Paris. 

It was much about this time that a great body of Burgun* 



314 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [14G& 

dians, Picardians, and of other nations subject to the Count 
de Charolois, marched into France as far as Pont St. Maxence, 
which one Madre, who was the govornor of it, delivered up 
to the Count de Charolois for a certain sum of money : upon 
which he advanced with his army into the Isle of France, 
where he committed great ravages and devastations, notwith- 
standing he pretended this war was undertaken purely for 
the public good, and to free the subjects of France from the 
tyranny of their king. 

Soon after this business of Pont St. Maxence, the Bur- 
gundians took Beaulieu, which a party of the Marshal Joa- 
chim's own regiment had a long time defended, and held 
out against them ; who at last surrendered upon articles, 
and marched out with bag and baggage, and the usual 
marks of honour. 

And as soon as the Burgundians had entered the Isle of 
France, they dispersed themselves in small bodies all over 
the county, and took Dammartin, Nantouillet, Villemonble, 
and several other inconsiderable places, and afterwards at 
Laigny they committed great disorders and outrages, tearing 
and burning all the papers relating to the public accounts of 
the province, ordering that all commodities should be free 
from taxes in the town, and commanding the salt which was 
stored up in the public granaries for the king's use, to be 
given to whomsoever had occasion for it, upon paying custom 
for it. 

About this time the king, who was in Bourbonnois, laid 
siege to Riom, in Auvergne, in which were the Duke of 
Bourbon and Nemours, the Count dArmagnac, the Lord 
Albret, and several other persons of note. Tne king had, 
at that time when he invested the town, the finest army that 
ever was seen ; having, in all, including the nobility and 
persons of note and distinction, above 24,000 effective men of 
regidar troops. 

And, on Wednesday, the 4th of July, in the same year, 
the king, who was still before Riom, wrote letters to M. 
Charles Melun, his lieutenant in Paris, the Marshal Joa- 
chim, and the citizens of Paris, which he sent by M. Charles 
de Charlay, the captain of the watch ; and in these letters 
he heartily thanked his good citizens of Paris for their stead- 
fastness and loyalty to his person, desiring and exhorting 



1465.] TIIE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 315 

them to continue in their duty and allegiance, and assuring 
them that within fifteen days he would be at Paris, with his 
whole army. He also ordered the said Charles de Charlay 
to acquaint them by word of mouth of certain terms and 
articles of agreement that he had made with the Dukes of 
Bourbon and Nemours, and the Lords d'Armagnac and 
Albret, and how by the compact all and every of them had 
solemnly and sincerely promised henceforth never to bear 
arms against him, but to live and die in his service ; and 
that the said dukes and lords above-mentioned had faith- 
fully promised to do their duty, in endeavouring to persuade 
the other lords that were engaged in the confederacy to 
accept of the same terms of accommodation ; and that the 
four above-mentioned lords had agreed to send, before the 
feast of August, their ambassadors to the king at Paris, in 
order to treat of peace ; and that if they could not induce 
the other lords en^a^ed in the same confederacy to hearken 
to a peace, they had solemnly vowed and sworn to keep the 
promise they had made of never bearing arms against the 
king, but to live and die in defence of him and his king- 
dom. And, that, as a farther confirmation of this promise, 
the above-mentioned lords had caused it to be registered 
by two public notaries at Mossiat, near Riom, agreeing and 
consenting to be excommunicated, provided they, or either 
of them, should act to the contrary. 

On the Friday following, a large body of the Count de 
Charolois's forces, the greatest part of them Burgundians, 
arrived at St. Denis, from whence they sent a detachment 
to Point St. Cloud, in hopes of making themselves masters of 
it, but not being able to effect their project, they marched 
back to St. Denis. 

On Sunday, the 12th of July, 1465, the Burgundians 
appeared before Paris, but finding they could not carry 
their point, they retired to St. Denis with the loss of a 
few men, who were endeavouring to scale the walls. 

On Monday, the 8th of August, the Burgundians came 
a second time before Paris, with all their artillery and 
heavy cannon ; but before their army appeared in sight of 
the town, they sent four heralds to the Gate of St. Denis, 
at which M. Peter l'Orfevre, Lord of Ermenonville, and M. 
John de Pompaincourt, Lord of Cercelles, commanded as 



816 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [H65. 

captains of the guards that day. Their pretended message 
was to demand provision for their army, and a free admit- 
tance into Paris in a peaceful and friendly manner; and to 
let the citizens know, that if they refused to grant their 
demands, they would enter the town by force, and give it 
Up to be plundered hy their soldiers. 

Scarce had the four heralds delivered their message, when 
the Burgundians (who thought to have surprised the town, 
and cut in pieces the guard that defended the gate of St. 
Denis, without giving the citizens time to return an an- 
swer) appeared with a considerable body of forces, and 
penetrating as far as St. Ladre, were in hopes of getting 
within the barriers that led to that gate, which they designed 
to have forced with their cannon and other warlike engines: 
but the citizens made a vigorous resistance, and the Mar- 
shal Joachim with his own regiment gave them a very warm 
reception ; so that the Burgundians finding that they could 
not succeed in their design, retired to their camp, with the 
loss of abundance of men killed and wounded. Immediately 
their whole army invested the town, in which they did great 
execution with their cannon, culverins, and other warlike en- 
gines, and killed and wounded a great many men. During 
this bombardment, there was a cowardly rascal of a bailiff 
named Casin Chollet, that ran up and down the streets, like 
one frightened out of his wits, crying out, " Get you into 
your houses, O Parisians, and shut the doors, for the Bur- 
gundians are entered the town ;" which put the inhabitants 
into so dreadful a consternation, that several women with 
child miscarried, and others died of the fright. 

No action happened before Paris on the Tuesday follow- 
ing, only the Count de St. Paul, who was at St. Denis, 
with the Count de Charolois, marched from thence with a de- 
tachment of Picardians and Burgundians, in order to possess 
himself of Point St. Cloud; but the project failed at that time. 
And on the Wednesday following, there arrived in his camp 
a fine train of artillery, consisting of about fifty or sixty 
pieces of cannon, which the Count de Charolois had ordered 
to be sent him ; and on the same day, n brigade of M. Peter 
de Breze's regiment marched out of Paris, to intercept the 
Burgundians in their march to St. Cloud, two of whom they 
killed, and took five prisoners ; one of whom received so 



1465.] THE SCANDALOUS CHKONTCLE. 317 

terrible a blow as clove his head asunder, and the fore part 
of it hung down by a bit of skin upon his breast. The 
Burgundians also took an archer, servant to M. John Noyer, 
of the same regiment; and in the evening they made a 
vigorous attack upon St. Cloud, and storming the outworks, 
put the garrison, who held it for the king, into such a con- 
sternation, that they agreed to capitulate, and surrendered 
the town immediately upon condition to be safely conducted 
to Paris, and to deliver up the five Burgundians they had 
taken that day ; and for performance of these articles, host- 
ages were exchanged on both sides. 

On the Friday following, the magistrates of Paris held a 
great council in the Hotel de Ville, to advise and consider what 
answer they should return to the Burgundians, who re- 
quired of them to send some commissioners to treat with 
the Count de Charolois, who would privately inform them, 
by word of mouth, of the reasons that had induced him to 
take up arms against the king. At last, after some debate, 
they resolved to acquaint the Count de Charolois with their 
resolution of sending some commissioners (provided he 
would send them a passport to Paris), to treat with him, 
and to hear what propositions he had to make ; letting him 
know, at the same time, that they would communicate what- 
ever he had to offer, either to the king, who was at Orleans, 
or to his privy council at Paris; who might return what 
an-wer they thought most proper in the present posture of 
affairs. The same day, about six in the evening, two heralds 
from the Count de Charolois came to the gate of St. Honore 
for the answer you have already heard ; who were told, that 
if the Count de Charolois would be pleased to come any- 
where near Paris, and send a passport, commissioners 
should be sent to wait on him, but nothing farther could be 
granted. After this, they desired leave to buy some paper 
and parchment, which was granted them, but were denied 
sugar and other things that they wanted in their camp for 
their sick and wounded ; so that they were forced to return 
w ithout these commodities, which they took very ill of the 
Parisians. 

On Sunday, the 14th of July, 1465, early in the morning, 
arrived at Paris the Count de la Borde and M. Cousinot, 
who brought letters from the king to his good citizens ol 



318 THE SCANDALOUS CIIHONICI-E [1465. 

Paris ; in which the king, as he had done before, thanked 
them for their zeal and affection to his person, and for their 
brave resistance and defence of his capital against the Bur- 
gundians, desiring them withal to depend upon whatever 
the said De la Borde and Cousinot should tell them in his 
name; the substance of wliich was, that the king thanked 
them heartily for their loyalty and good affection towards 
him, desired tliem to continue firm and steadfast in it, and 
that they might depend on his being at Paris (as a place he 
desired the most to be in) on the Tuesday following; and 
that lie had rather lose half his kingdom than any misfortune 
or inconveniency, that was in his power to prevent, should 
happen to his good citizens of Paris ; whom he desired by 
the said Cousinot to provide lodgings and quarters for his 
men at arms, and the retinue that he should bring with him, 
and to set a reasonable price on all manner of provision ; 
to which M. Henry de Livre, the mayor of Paris, imme- 
diately consented, and took all the care imaginable to see it 
done. 

On the Monday following, theBurgundians broke up from 
St. Cloud, and marched with all their artillery and heavy 
cannon to Mont Tilery, where they encamped, in order to 
join the Dukes of Berry and Bretagne, the Count de Dunois, 
and several others that were coming in to the Count de 
Charolois. The news of this movement was immediately 
despatched to the king, who was on this side Orleans on his 
march towards Paris, and who in all haste, by long and 
tedious marches, on Tuesday morning, the 6th of July, 
arrived at Chartres, near Mont l'Hery ; from whence, with- 
out staying so much as to refresh himself, or to wait for the 
coming up of his whole army, which was composed of the 
finest horse (considering their number) that ever were seen, 
he marched directly towards the Burgundians, whom he at- 
tacked with so much vigour and intrepidity (though but 
with a handful of men), that at the first charge he broke 
and entirely defeated their vanguard, of which a great num- 
ber were killed and taken prisoners. As soon as the news 
of this defeat had reached Paris, above thirty thousand sal- 
lied out of the gates, some of whom being horse, scoured 
the country round, defeating and tiiking several small bodies 
of the flying Burgundians, as did also the inhabitants of the 



1465.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 319 

neighbouring towns round Paris. The Burgundians lost in 
this action great part of their bag and baggage ; and the 
whole damage they sustained, reckoning everything, wa» 
computed to amount to two hundred thousand crowns of 
gold. The king, not being content with defeating the 
enemy's vanguard, and hoping to gain a complete victory 
over them, without refreshing either himself or his troops, 
once more attacked, with only his own guards and four hun- 
dred lances, a strong party of Burgundians, who had rallied 
under the command of the Count de St. Paul, who did the 
Count de Charoluis good service that day. The Burgun- 
dians gave the king's troops a warm reception, and being 
drawn up in order of battle, with their cannon playing upon 
them, sorely galled them, and killed abundance of them, 
among whom were several officers of the king's own guard, 
who behaved themselves handsomely during the whole ac- 
tion, and stood firmly by the king, who was hard put to it 
that day, and several times in danger of his own person ; for 
he had but a handful of men, and no cannon. The king 
was pressed so hard by the Burgundians, that he knew not 
which way to turn himself, and was forced to charge at the 
head of his troops during this engagement; and though he 
had but a small body with him, yet he still maintained his 
ground ; and if he had had a reinforcement but of five 
hundred Frank archers to have pushed the Burgundians 
when they began to give way, he would have gained the 
completest victory over them that ever was known in the 
memory of man. The Count de Charolois lost all his guards, 
and the king a great part of his ; the Count de Charolois 
was twice taken prisoner by Jeffery de St. Belin and Gilbert 
de Grassay, but was afterwards rescued. Abundance of 
men and horses were killed that day, the greatest part of 
which were killed by the rascally Burgundian foot, with 
their pikes and other weapons tipped with iron, and not 
a few men of note fell on both sides. And after the battle 
was over, the number of the slain was computed at three 
thousand six hundred men ; and towards night, the Scotch 
guards, considering the danger the king was in, and the 
great loss they had sustained, and finding that the Burgun- 
dians were still pursuing those squadrons they had already 
broken, took his majesty, who had been in arms all day 



320 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465. 

without eating and drinking, and was much fatigued and dispi- 
rited, and conducted him safe to the castle of Mont l'Hery ,♦ 
which was the reason that several in the army, who knew 
nothing of the king's removing thither, and not knowing 
where to find him, reported he was either killed or taken 
prisoner. Upon the news of which the greatest part of his 
army ran away, and among the rest the Count du Maine, 
the Admiral de Montauban, the Lord de la Borde, and 
several other officers, with about eight hundred lances, with- 
out ever being engaged at all that day ; by which means the 
Burgundians remained masters of the field of battle, on 
which were found amongst the slain several persons of 
quality and distinction on the king's side, to wit, M. Peter 
de Breze, knight and seneschal of Normandy ; Jeffery de 
St. Belin, bailiff of Chaumont ; Floquet, bailiff of Evreux, 
besides several other knights and esquires. The Burgun- 
dians also lost abundance of men, and had more taken pri- 
soners than they took of the king's army. After the king 
had refreshed himself a little at the castle of Mont l'Hery, 
he marched with a strong detachment of his forces to Cor- 
beil, where he stayed till the Thursday following, on which 
he arrived very late in the evening at Paris, and supped 
that night at M. Charles de Melun's, his lieutenant-general, 
with several lords and ladies of his court, besides several of 
the chief citizens and their wives, to whom his majesty 
related the particulars of the action at Mont l'Hery in such 
moving and pathetic terms, as drew tears from the eyes of 
the whole company; adding withal, that he designed by the 
blessing of God to attack the enemy once more on the Mon- 
day following, and either die on the spot, or drive them out 
of his dominions ; but he was advised not to hazard another 
battle, considering the cowardice and desertion of his troops, 
that would not stand by him in the late engagement. How- 
ever, it was to no purpose, for he was a prince of an un- 
daunted courage and resolution. 

On Friday, the 19th of July, 146.5, M. William Chartier 
Bishop of Paris, with several counsellors and clergymen, 
went to wait on the king at his Hotel des Tournelles, and 
'lumbly besought his majesty that he would be pleased to 
make choice of some wise and prudent council to aid and 
assist him in the administration of public affairs for the 



1 465. J THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 321 

future, to which he graciously consented ; and immediately 
it was ordered that six city counsellors, six counsellors of 
the court of parliament, and six doctors of the University 
of Paris, should be added to the king's ordinary council. 
And because the king found he had many enemies in his 
kingdom, they went upon ways and means to raise more 
forces, and recruit those regiments that had suffered most in 
the late action of Mont l'Hery. In order to try how many 
men they could raise in Paris, it was proposed that the 
number of the inhabitants of every ward should be taken in 
writing, and that each ward should furnish ten men; but 
there was nothing done in it. 

Upon the king's arrival at Paris, abundance of his troops 
were forced to be quartered in the villages round that city, 
Brie, and other neighbouring places, where they committed 
great disorders, not being content with eating and drinking 
on free cost, but also plundering the inhabitants of all they 
had, and seizing upon whatever they could find, though be- 
longing to some of the citizens of Paris. Nay, the king 
himself was under some difficulties of raising a sufficient 
sum of money to pay those forces he had in Paris, for some 
of the princes that had taken up arms against him were in 
possession of those very towns on which the taxes assigned 
for that use were to be levied, and they refusing to let any 
be raised in their dominions, he was forced to borrow money 
of his officers and wealthy citizens of Paris, some of whom, 
upon their refusal to lend him as much as he proposed, were 
immediately put out of all their posts and employments, both 
military and civil : among the rest, M. John Cheneteau, 
clerk in parliament, M. Martin Picard, counsellor of the 
exchequer, and several others. 

On Wednesday, the 24th of July, 1465, the king ordered 
the bridge of St. Maxence to be broken down, upon intelli- 
gence that the Lord de Saveuses was marching with a great 
body of forces in order to beat out the king's troops, and put 
a garrison of his own into it. On the same day his majesty 
gave the command of it to John l'Orfevre, who was the 
governor of it, and charged him to defend it to the last ex- 
tremity, which he did with so much bravery and resolution, 
that there was no occasion to break down the said bridge; 
and on the Friday following the king ordered that two bun-. 

VOL. II. Y 



822 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465. 

dred lanccc, under the command of the Bastard d'Armagnac, 
Count de Comminges, the Sieur Giles de Symon, bailiff of 
Senlis, the Sieur de la Barde, and Charles des Mares, should 
stay at Paris ; and on the same day, at the desire and request 
of the Mayor of Paris and some churchmen, his majesty con- 
tinued M. Charles de Melun in his former post of lieutenant 
of the city. 

After the battle of MontPHery, the lords and princes that 
were engaged in the confederacy against the king retired to 
Etampes, where they stayed for the space of fifteen days, 
and upon their breaking up from thence, they marched 
towards St. Mathurin de l'Archant, Moret in Gastinois, 
Provins, and the neighbourhood of those countries ; upon 
which the king, having intelligence of their motions, throws 
small bodies of forces with some cannon into Melun, Mon- 
tereau, Sens, and other neighbouring towns, to reinforce the 
garrisons, and make frequent sallies whenever they had an 
opportunity of falling upon the enemy. 

On Saturday, the 3rd of August, 1465, the king, being 
willing to oblige his good city of Paris by some singular 
act of grace and favour, changed the tax of the fourth 
penny on retailed wines to that of the eighth, and granted 
to all the inhabitants the same privileges they enjoyed in the 
reign of his father Charles VII. He also took off all the 
taxes that had formerly been levied in the city, except those 
on wood, cattle, and cloth, sold by wholesale, which were let 
out to the farmers of the revenue ; and on the same day it 
was proclaimed by sound of trumpet in all the public streets 
oi' Paris, by Denis Hesselin, chief collector of the subsi- 
dies ; upon the news of which the common people were so 
overjoyed, that they flocked together from all parts of the 
city, and filled the streets with bonfires and acclamations 
of joy. 

About this time the Bretons and Burgundians passed the 
Seine and the Yonne upon a bridge of boats, which were 
brought from Moret in Gastinois and other places. M. 
Salezart, with a brigade of Marshal Joachim's regiment, had 
posted himself on the other side to dispute the passage with 
them ; but finding himself too weak, and having no cannon 
(of which the enemy had great store), he thought fit to re- 
tire upon their approach. The Burgundians, to favour the 



1465.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 323 

passage of th^ir troops, cannonaded the enemy all the 
while, and killed abundance of the king's men ; at last a 
random shot took off a page's arm, struck a gentleman named 
Pamabel, a relation of Marshal Joachim's, in the belly, and 
killed three soldiers afterwards. 

On Thursday, the 8th of August, the Lord de Pretigny, 
one of the king's counsellors, and president of the exchequer, 
and Chrisstofle Paillart, a counsellor, also of the same court, 
arrived at Paris with an answer to some letters that the king 
had sent by them to the Duke of Calabria, who was then in 
Auxerrois ; and on Saturday the 10th of the same month, 
the king set out from Paris in order to visit Rouen, Evreux, 
and several other places in Normandy, and lay that night at 
Pontoise ; but before he left Paris, he ordered several com- 
panies of Frank archers that were newly arrived from Nor- 
mandy, and ahout four hundred lances drawn out of the 
regiments of the late Floquet, of the Boulonnois, of the late 
Jeffery de St. Bel in, of the Lord de Craon, and the Lord de 
la Barde, to remain in garrison for the defence of the city. 

About this time M. John Berard, counsellor of the court 
of Parliament, went over to the Duke of Berry, who was 
then in Bretagne, being highly disgusted at his wife's being 
committed to prison, and afterwards banished the city for 
holding correspondence with the said duke and the rest of 
the princes, who were the king's open and professed enemies. 

About this time M. Charles de Melun, who had hitherto 
been the king's lieutenant in Paris, resigned his place, which 
was immediately given to the Count d'Eu ; but the king, in 
consideration of the many services M. Charles de Melun had 
done, made him steward of his household, and gave him the 
government of the bailiwick and towns of Evreux and 
Honfleur. 

About this time also a party of Burgundians and Bretons, 
who had been refreshing themselves in the town of Provins, 
returned to Laigny upon the Marne, and the Friday follow- 
ing they came and took up their quarters at Creteil, a house 
upon the Seine, Sheelle, Saincte, Bapteur, and several other 
places in that neighbourhood. And because the Parisians were 
fearful that the Burgundians would once more invest Paris, 
there being a report that M. Gerauld, their chief engineer, 
bad given out that he designed to erect a battery in the lay* 

t a 



524 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465. 

stall before the gates of St. Denis and St. Anthony, in order 
to bombard the town, and at the same time to make a breach 
in the walls, they caused an order to be immediately pub- 
lished, by which every one was obliged to repair the next 
morning tc the lay-stall with a pick-axe and shovel, to break 
it up, and render it unfit to erect a battery on, and accord- 
ingly the order was put in execution ; but what they did 
signified little or nothing, so that they were forced to build 
a great many sheds, erect bulwarks, and throw up trenches 
to cover and defend the city, as also the soldiers employed 
in its defence. 

On the Monday following, the same party of Burgundians 
and Bretons that were quartered at Creteil and thereabouts, 
being joined by some more forces of their own country, 
came to Pont de Charenton, where they erected a battery ; 
and began to play upon the tower that defended it, upon 
which the garrison, without making the least opposition, 
retired to Paris, and the Burgundians and Bretons took 
possession of it, and in the evening of the same day they 
appeared before Paris, in which several of them were taken 
prisoners, and two of the Frank archers of Caen killed. And 
that night a body of Burgundians and Bretons, amounting 
to about four thousand men, came and encamped in a park 
belonging to the Bois de Vincennes. The Tuesday following, 
the Count d'Eu sent one M. de Rambures to the princes to 
know their intentions, and the next day he returned to 
Paris, but the answer they made him was kept very secret ; 
and the same day the Burgundians came before Paris, upon 
which the Parisians made a sally, but scarce any action 
happened between them, only one of the Frank archers of 
Alencon happened to be killed by a random shot. 

On Thursday, the 22d of August, the Duke of Berry, who 
had taken up his head quarters at Beaulce, with several 
other princes near allied to him, sent his heralds with four 
letters to Paris, one to the citizens, one to the university, 
and one to the ecclesiastics, and one to the court of par- 
liament. The contents of which were, in short, that he and 
the rest of the princes engaged in the same confederacy had 
taken up arms for the public good of the kingdom, and that 
if they would make choice of five or six able men in the 
character of commissioners to treat and confer with them, 



1465 1 THE SCANDALOUS CHKONICLE. 325 

he would let them know the reasons that had induced him 
and the rest of the princes to appear in this open and 
hostile manner. Accordingly, in pursuance of these letters, 
the following commissioners were deputed to wait on the 
princes to hear what they had to propose. On the part of 
the city were chosen M. John Choart, the civil lieutenant 
of the Chastellet of Paris, M. Francis Hasle, advocate in 
parliament, and Arnold Lullier, banker at Paris. The church 
of Paris made choice of M. Thomas de Courcelles, Dean of 
Paris, M. John de Lolive, doctor of divinity, and M. Eustace 
Lullier, advocate in parliament. For the court of par- 
liament were chosen M. John de Boulenger, M. John de 
Sellier, Archdeacon of Brie, and M. James Founder. And 
by the university for the sciences in general were chosen 
M. James Minglisant, for divinity, M. John Lullier, for the 
law, M. John Montigny, and for physic, M. Auerant de Pa- 
renti ; and all these commissioners were introduced and 
presented to the princes by William Chartier, Bishop of 
Paris. 

On Saturday following, all the above mentioned com- 
missioners sat in the Hotel de Ville, where several persons of 
quality and distinction were assembled on purpose to hear 
what proposals the princes had made them, but they came 
to no manner of conclusion that morning ; however, it was 
agreed that in the afternoon the whole body of the uni- 
versity, church, court of parliament, and the chief magis- 
trates, should meet together, to take into consideration what 
the princes had proposed to the commissioners. At this 
meeting, after some debate, they unanimously agreed, that 
the calling an assembly of the three estates of the kingdom, 
which was the chief thing the princes insisted on, was 
highly just and reasonable ; that they would consent to 
supply their army witli provisions for money, and that they 
should have free admittance into Paris, provided they 
could give them security that neither they nor their soldiers 
would commit any act of hostility within the town to the 
prejudice of the inhabitants; and the king consented to it. 
After which the commissioners went a second time to wait 
on the princes, and acquaint them with their final resolution. 
During the whole time that this assembly were sitting in 
council, all the cross-bow men and archers were drawn up 

V s 



326 THE SCANDAIOUS CHRONICLE. [146.5. 

before the Hotel de Ville, to hinder the mob from crowding 
and disturbing them, as they would certainly have done, 
had they not been prevented by this means. 

On the same day there was a review made of all the 
ting's forces in Paris, which made a very fine appearance. 
First of all marched the archers of Normandy on foot ; 
these were followed by the archers on horseback ; and last 
of all came the men-at-arms belonging to the companies of 
the Count d'Eu, the Lord de Craon, the Lord de la Barde, 
and the Bastard of Maine, which might make in all about five 
hundred men, well armed and mounted, without reckoning 
the foot, which were about one thousand five hundred, or 
more. And on the same day the king wrote letters to 
Paris, by which he acquainted the inhabitants of his being 
at Chartres with his uncle the Duke du Maine, and abundance 
of soldiers with him, and of his resolution of coming to 
Paris on the Tuesday following. In the afternoon the 
Admiral de Montauban arrived at Paris with a good body 
of troops, and towards the evening the Duke of Berry broke 
up from Beauke, and marched towards St. Denis; but being 
told by some of his officers that were with him that Beaulce 
was a much safer place for him to be in than St. Denis, 
which lay too near the enemy, and upon hearing the news 
of the king's coming to Paris, he marched back to his old 
quarters. 

On the Wednesday following the king came to Paris, at- 
tended by his uncle the Duke du Maine, the Lord de Pan- 
theure, and several other officers of note; he also brought 
back the fine train of artillery he carried with him, and 
a great number of pioneers from Normandy, who were all 
quartered in his Hotel de St. Paul. And when the king 
made his entry into Paris, he was received with the uni- 
versal shouts and acclamations of the people ; and the next 
day, very early in the morning, the Burgundians and the 
Bretons, planting themselves over against the tower of Billy, 
saluted him with a triple discharge of their cannon, ac- 
companied with drums, trumpets, clarions, and other war- 
like instruments of music. The same thing they did also 
over against the bastille St. Anthoine, shouting and huzzaing, 
and crying out, "To arms, to arms!" which put the whole 
city into a dreadful consternation, and immediately they 



.465.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 327 

mounted the walls, and prepared all things for a vigorous 
defence. In the afternoon the Burgundians and Bretons 
appeared again before Paris, upon which a considerable body 
of the kind's regular forces, with some cannon and field- 
pieces, were immediately ordered to march out of Paris to 
beat off the enemy, who, falling in with a party of them, 
killed and took several prisoners that day. 

On Saturday, the last of August, the king went with a 
strong guard as far as the tower of Billy, to take a view of 
the enemy, and commanded the four hundred pioneers that 
came from Normandy to cross the Seine, and throw up a 
trench over against the English port, and before the H6tel 
de Conflans, which was directly opposite to the place where 
the Burgundians were posted, quite down to the river Seine. 
And because the Burgundians had given out that they de- 
signed to pass that river, the king ordered a good body of 
troops to be posted there, to hinder them from laying a 
bridge over it, and to dispute the passage with them ; and 
as soon as the pioneers had passed the river, the king passed 
it also in a ferry-boat without alighting from his horse. 

On Sunday, the first of September, the Burgundians laid 
a bridge over the Seine at the English port; and just as they 
were preparing to pass it, a great number of Frank archers, 
and other soldiers of the king's party, arrived there, who, 
immediately planting some cannon and field-pieces at the 
end of the bridge, fired briskly on the Burgundians, and 
obliged them to retire, with the loss of several men killed and 
wounded ; and a certain Norman swam across the river, 
and cutting the ropes with which the bridge was fastened, 
it went cleverly down the stream. Abundance of cannon 
was fired that day from several batteries that the Bur- 
gundians had erected, but from one especially, which played 
so briskly on the king's troops that were posted at the En- 
glish port, that they were forced to retire. 

And on the Tuesday following, ambassadors were chosen 
by the king and the Burgundians, in order to adjust the 
difference between them. On the king's side were chosen 
the Duke du Maine, M. de Pretigny, president of the ex- 
chequer, and M. John Dauvet, president of the parliament 
of Toulouse; and the Burgundians chose the Duke of Ca- 
labria, the Count de St. Paul, and the Count de Dunois. And 

Y 4 



828 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465. 

as soon as they were nominated, and had received their in- 
structions, they went immediately upon the business of ac- 
commodation ; and there was a truce granted till the Thursday 
following, during which no acts of hostility were committed 
on either side ; but both parties took care, in the mean time, 
to fortify themselves, and make what preparations they could, 
not knowing how matters might happen. 

On Monday, the ninth of September, the Bretons and 
Burgundians marched into the territories of Clignancourt, 
Montmartre, La Courtille, and other vineyards about Paris, 
where they spoiled and destroyed the whole vintage, cutting 
down all the grapes, green as they were, to make wine for 
present drinking; upon which the Parisians were forced 
to do the same with all their vineyards round Paris that 
had escaped their fury, though the grapes were scarce half 
ripe, and it was not the usual season for their vintage ; 
besides, it was the worst year for vines that had been known 
in France for many years ; so that they called the wine of 
this year's growth by the name of Burgundy. 

About this time several of the nobility of Normandy 
arrived at Paris to serve the king in his wars, all which 
had their quarters assigned them in the Faubourg de St. 
Marcel, amongst whose retinue there were some particular 
persons that committed great thefts and disorders, two of 
whom were seized by some of the citizens as they were 
forcing their way into the city ; and upon the citizens stop- 
ping them, the Normans began to abuse and rail at the citi- 
zens, calling them traitors and rebellious Burgundians, 
vowing to be revenged of them, and telling them that they 
came from Normandy with no other design but to plunder 
and destroy the whole city. Of which words a complaint 
being made, and an information given by the said citizens 
to the mayor of Paris, the principal offender, who spoke 
these dangerous words, was condemned to the ignominious 
punishment of walking barefoot and bareheaded, with a 
lighted torch in his hand, through the streets, and in the 
public market-place before the Hotel de Ville, in this shameful 
condition, to acknowledge his offence before the town-clerk, 
and to ask the good citizens of Paris pardon and forgiveness 
for what he had falsely and maliciously spoken, and after- 
wards to be bored through the tongue, and banished the city. 



1 465. J THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 329 

On the Monday following, theBurgundians came and showed 
themselves before Paris, amongst whom was the Count de 
St. Paul, to meet whom the king went out of Paris, and 
they had a conference together, which lasted two hours ; and 
as a surety for the Count's safe return, the king delivered 
up the Count du Maine, who siaid in the Burgundians' 
army till the return of the said Count de St. Paul. 

And on the same day a great council was held in the ex- 
chequer-chamber, at which, amongst the other officers and 
magistrates of that court, the sixteen quarteniers*, the cin- 
quanteniersf, and some of the councillors belonging to the 
court of parliament, were present ; to whom, by the king's 
order, Morvillier, chancellor of France, made a speech, in 
which he acquainted them how honourably his majesty had 
acquitted himself towards the princes, and what generous 
offers he had made them upon their demanding the duchy 
of Guienne, Poitou, with the country of Saintonge, or the 
duchy of Normandy, as an appanage for the Duke of Berry. 
He farther told them that the king's council, who were 
there present, had informed the princes that it was not in 
his majesty's power to give away or dismember anything 
belonging to the crown ; and that since he was pleased to 
offer the countries of Champagne and Brie, reserving only 
to himself Meaux, Montereau, and Melun, in lieu of the 
said appanage, they were of opinion that the Duke of Berry 
ought not in reason and honour to refuse it. After this the 
assembly broke up, and (all hopes of an accommodation being 
vanished) the young seneschal of Normandy was ordered 
out with six hundred horse to skirmish with the Bretons 
and Burgundians, who were drawn up in order of battle on 
the other side of the Seine, and, firing upon them, killed a 
gentleman of Poitou belonging to M. Punthieu's regiment, 
called John Canreau, Lord de Pampelie. 

On the Saturday following, at break of day, one Lewis 
Sorbier, whom Marshal Joachim Rouault had left in Pon- 
toise as his lieutenant, basely and treacherously betrayed 
his trust, and suffered the Bretons and other troops belong' 

* Civil officers, having the same power and authority in Paris aa 
an alilerman has in London, there being one to every ward. 

f Certain officers or magistrates in Paris, somewhat like our aider* 
men's dupuucB iu London. 



330 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465 

ing to the enemy to possess themselves of the town, having 
agreed with them beforehand, that whoever of the Marshal 
Joachim's regiment refused to enter into their service, should 
have the liberty of marching out with their bag and bag- 
gage, without being examined or molested. And as soon as 
he had delivered up Pontoise into the enemy's hands, he 
marched with some of his confederates to Meulan, where, 
not believing that his treason was already known, he thought 
that, by showing Marshal Joachim's colours, he would get an 
easy admittance ; but upon his arrival at the gates, the in- 
habitants of Meulan, who had been informed of his trea- 
chery, and were in arms upon the walls, cried out, " Get you 
gone, vile and despicable traitor," and fired their cannon 
upon him and his party, which obliged him to retire with 
the utmost shame and confusion to Pontoise ; and on Sun- 
day, by break of day, the enemy came and gave the city an 
alarm on the side of St. Anthony's gate, and a great body of 
them penetrated as far as St. Anthoine des Champs ; and 
in order to dislodge them, several cannon, field-pieces, and 
culverins were fired, but there were no sallies made. 

About this time the Bretons and Burgundians who lay 
before Paris made songs, ballads, lampoons, and other scan- 
dalous verses, on some of the chief officers of the court, which 
set the king so against them, that he turned them out of 
their places. Neither did the king's own soldiers, who were 
quartered in Paris, behave themselves much better, but 
spent their time in all manner of lewdness, debauching and 
seducing the hearts of several wives, maids, and widows, 
who left their children, husbands, and places to follow and 
live with them. 

In the evening, M. Balue, Bishop of Evreux, was set 
upon by some people that owed him a spite, in the Rue de 
la Bane du Bee, who at the first stroke beat the two torches 
that were carried before him out of the servants' hands, and 
afterwards they came up to the bishop, who, being mounted 
on a stout mule, carried him off cleverly to his own hotel in 
the cloister of Nostre-Dame ; by which means he saved his 
life, for his servants, who were afraid of being knocked down, 
had quite forsaken him ; however, before he made his escape 
he received two wounds, one in his hand, and another in one 
of his fingers. The king was extremely concerned at this 



1465.] THK SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 331 

accident, and ordered a strict inquiry to be made after the 
assassins ; but they were never discovered. 

On the Thursday following, there was a great complaint 
made in the Hotel de Ville by some of the citizens against the 
soldiers for having spoken and published certain words and 
speeches of a dangerous consequence to the inhabitants. 
Among other tilings, they boldly affirmed that neither the 
city of Paris nor anything in it belonged to the inhabitants, 
but to them who were quartered in it ; that they would have 
the citizens know that the keys of their houses were at the 
soldiers' disposal ; that they would turn out the present posses- 
sors, and live in them themselves; and, in short, if the citizens 
pretended to make resistance, they should find, to their sor- 
row, they were able to conquer them. And the very same 
day a foolish Norman said openly at St. Denis's gate that the 
Parisians were very weak to think that chaining up their 
streets would signify anything against the forces of their 
country. A report of these dangerous and insolent words 
being made to some of the officers of the Hotel de Ville, they 
immediately issued out an order commanding several streets 
to be chained up, and that every quartenier of Paris should 
cause great tires to be made in every ward under his juris- 
diction, and that one of them should be in arms upon the 
watch before the Hotel de Ville all night, which was accord- 
ingly done. And that very night there was a hot report 
that the gate of the Bastille St. Anthoine was left open on 
purpose to let the Bretons and the Burgundians into the 
town; and, to confirm it the more, several cannon were found 
nailed up, and rendered unfit for service. 

On the Friday following, two pursuivants-at-arms arrived 
at Paris ; one was despatched from Gisors to acquaint 
the king of the weak condition of that place, which was 
wholly unprovided with everything necessary for its defence, 
and to let his majesty know that if he did not send them a 
speedy supply of men, arms, ammunition, and provision, they 
must be forced to surrender to a body of six hundred horse 
that lay before the town. The other pursuivant was sent 
by one Hugh des Vignes, a man-at-arms belonging to M. de 
la Barde's regiment, and who at that time was at Meulan, 
to inform the king that he was assured from very good 
hands that the Bretons had a design of surprising Rouen as 



332 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465k 

they did Pontoise. if they were not prevented. And on 
the same day the ambassadors that were chosen on both 
sides dined together at St. Anthoine des Champs without 
Paris; and on the next day the same ambassadors on both 
sides were assembled again, but in two distinct parties, that 
is to say, the Duke du Maine and those of his party, who 
were for the king, with the rest of the lords and princes, 
were all of them together at the Grange-aux-Merciers. 
There were also several others nominated by the king, who 
were at St. Anthoine des Champs ; but notwithstanding 
this meeting, very little business was despatched this day. 

In the afternoon the king received letters from the widow 
of the late Peter de Breze, by which she informed his ma- 
jesty of her having caused the Lord Broquemont, captain of 
the palace at Rouen, to be apprehended upon suspicion of not 
being well affected to his government, and having a design 
to deliver it up to the Bretons ; but that he need not give 
himself the least pain about Rouen, for he would certainly 
find all the citizens hearty and true to his interest. The 
same day, in the afternoon, arrived the unwelcome news of 
the taking of Rouen by the Duke of Bourbon, who entered 
the town by the castle of Rouen, which was the weakest side, 
and lay towards the fields. 

As soon as the princes that lay before Paris heard of the 
taking of Rouen, they sent to acquaint the king that his 
brother, the Duke of Berry, who was before contented with 
Champagne and Brie, would accept of no other appanage 
than the duchy of Normandy ; so that the king was forced, 
notwithstanding the former agreement, to give the Duke of 
Berry the duchy of Normandy, and reserve for himself that 
of Berry. The Count de Charolois had for his share the 
towns of Feronne, Roye, and Mondidier, for him and his 
heirs for ever ; besides, the king gave him during his life 
all the lands and towns that were lately redeemed for four 
hundred thousand crowns, and had been pawned to his 
father Philip, Duke of Burgundy, to which he added the 
countries of Guynes and Boulogne, to be enjoyed by him 
and his heirs for ever. He also gave to the Duke of Ca- 
labria a great sum of money, and lent him a certain number 
of troops, which were to be paid by the king, and to be em- 
ployed wherever the Duke of Calabria thought fit. Tha 



1465.] TUB SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 333 

Duke of Bourbon was to have the same pension, and the 
same quota of troops allowed him that he formerly had in 
the reign of the late King Charles, besides the remainder of 
his wife's marriage dower, which was left unpaid; and this 
was all he demanded. The Count de St. Paul was restored 
to all his places that had been taken from him during this 
unhappy rupture between the king and the princes, and a 
considerable pension settled upon him for life. The Count 
de Dammartin was also restored to all his lands and pos- 
sessions that were confiscated by a decree in Parliament, and 
had considerable presents made him by the king. As for 
the other lords, they had every one of them a large share, 
and departed well satisfied with what they had got. 

And on Tuesday, the 1st of October, a peace was pro- 
claimed between the king and the princes, and that day 
the Count de St. Paul came to Paris, and, having dined with 
the king, was conducted into the Hotel deVille, where he was 
created Constable of France, and took the oaths accordingly. 
And on the same day the king ordered a proclamation to be 
issued out, by which free leave was granted to all the inha- 
bitants to supply and furnish the Bretons and Bur«undians 
with whatever necessaries they wanted ; upon which procla- 
mation several merchants of Paris immediately sent a great 
quantity of all sorts of provision into the fields before St. 
Anthony's gate, which was quickly bought up, especially 
the wine and the bread, by the whole army, who instantly 
repaired thither half starved, and in a miserable condition, 
with their thin, lank cheeks over-grown with hair, and full 
of lice and nastiness, and the greatest part of them with- 
out stockings or shoes. But every one will be amazed at 
the inconceivable strength and richness of Paris, which was 
able to maintain four hundred thousand horse, including the 
Burgundians, Bretons, Calabrians, Picardians, and the rest 
of the enemy's forces for a long time, and plentifully to 
supply them, without ever raising the price of any manner 
of provision ; nay, immediately after the enemy had left 
it, things were sold cheaper than they were before ; and 
the whole Thursday following was spent in victualling the 
Burgundian camp. The same day the king w r ent to make 
a private visit to the Count de Charolois near Conflans, 
which was looked upon by all persona that hud a respect 



334 THE SCANDALOUS CHKONICLK. ^1465 

and concern for his majesty, as a very indiscreet action ; 
nay, the very Picardians themselves and the rest of the 
army could not forbear reflecting upon him, and breaking 
their jests upon the Parisians after this manner: " Here, take 
your king, who has at last submitted to the Count de Charo- 
lois, and meanly condescended to visit him in private ; in 
a little time we shall have him at our command." 

On Friday, the fourth of the same month, the king gave 
orders for the admittance of the Burgundians into the city 
through St. Anthony's gate, who, upon that permission, 
came in large bodies, and committed several riots and 
disorders, which certainly they would never have done 
had they not been encouraged by the king's late condescen- 
sion in visiting the Count de Charolois in so private a 
manner. 

On the Sunday following several men of quality and 
officers of the army came and supped with the king at Paris 
in an hotel belonging to M. John Lullier, the town-clerk, at 
which entertainment several ladies of quality and distinction 
were also present. 

And in this month of October a detachment of the Count 
de Charolois's troops came before Beauvais, and summoned 
the town to surrender ; upon which the inhabitants set 
down the summons in writing, and sent it to the king, who 
immediately sent it to the Count de Charolois, with whom 
he had lately concluded a peace. The Count de Charolois 
sent back word to the king that he knew nothing of the 
summons ; and that whosoever had done it, did it without 
his knowledge or order. The king returned a very civil 
answer to the Count de Charolois, and told him it was not 
a fair way of proceeding; that for the future, in pursuance 
of the articles of peace that had been lately concluded between 
them, he must forbear committing such acts of hostility ; 
and that if he had a mind to Beauvais, he should have it. 

On the Thursday following, several waggon-loads of gold 
and silver, for the payment of the Count de Charolois's 
troops, arrived in the Burgundian camp, under a strong 
convoy both of horse and foot, commanded by the Lord de 
Saveuses ; and on the same day the Duke of Bretagne and 
the king came to an agreement in relation to the affair that 
was between them, by which compact the king was obliged 



i465.j THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. o'-ii 

to restore the county of Montfort and several others ; be- 
sides a vast sum of money to pay that very army which he, 
in conjunction with the rest of the princes, had raised to 
invade the king's dominions. The next day M. John le 
Boulenger, president of the court of parliament, was sent by 
the king's order to the Hotel de Ville to acquaint the mayor 
and aldermen of Paris that the Burgundians had a design 
to review their army that day before the city gates, and to 
desire them to acquaint the common people with it, lest 
they should be surprised and astonished to see them thus 
drawn up against the town. But after all, the review was 
not made in sight of Paris that day, but from the Pont de Cha- 
renton to the Bois de Vincennes, whither the king, attended 
only by the Count de Charolois, the Duke of Calabria, and 
the Count de St. Paul, very imprudently went to see the 
review. As soon as the review was over, the king came 
back by water to Paris; and the Count de Charolois, upon 
his taking leave of his majesty, in the presence of those 
lords that attended the king thither, made the following 
acknowledgment in these words : — " My lords, you and I are 
subjects to the king here present, our lord and sovereign, and 
ought to serve him whenever he pleases to command us." 

Not long before this, the king had received a private in- 
formation of a design formed by some of his enemies either 
to kill him or seize upon his person ; upon which he imme- 
diately ordered his guards to be doubled, great fires to be 
made every night in the streets, the number of the watch to 
be augmented, as well upon the walls as in the streets, and 
took all the care imaginable to prevent their designs and 
secure his own person ; and upon hearing of the surrender 
of Caen and several other towns in Normandy, he imme- 
diately reinforced the garrison of Mantes with a considerable 
body of men-at-arms and Frank archers. 

On Tuesday, the 22d of October, the king made a private 
visit to the princes at the Grange-aux-Merciers, where all 
but the Duke of Berry were met together; and the next day 
the Duke of Bourbon had a long conference with the king 
in a place without the gates of Paris, on this side of the 
ditch of the Grange de Ruilly. 

On the Saturday following, the Count de Cliarolois, with 
a small detachment, left the army, having first caused an 



336 THE SCANDALOUS CHKONICLE. [1465. 

order to be published in his camp, by which all soldicra 
were obliged, under pain of death, to hold themselves in 
readiness to march against the Liegeois, who with fire and 
sword had invaded his territories. Sunday, Monday, and 
Tuesday the Duke de Berry lay ill of a fever at St. Maur 
des Fossez; but being pretty well recovered of his illness by 
Wednesday, the 30th of October, and able to go abroad, he 
went to wait upon the king at the Bois de Vincennes, where 
he did homage to him for the Duchy of Normandy, which the 
king gave him for his appanage ; and on the same day the 
articles of peace between the king and the princes were 
read and published in the court of parliament, and ordered 
to be registered in the same court. 

And on the Thursday following, the Duke of Berry, the 
Count de Charolois, and the rest of the princes, separated, 
and went different ways. The Duke of Berry, whom the 
king waited on some part of the way to Pontoise, went 
into Normandy ; and afterwards the king and the Count de 
Charolois retired to Villiers le Bel, where they stayed two 
or three days, and from thence the count marched with all 
speed through Picardy to make war upon the Liegeois. 

On the Monday following, M. Kobert Destouteville, Lord 
of Beine, who was mayor of Paris in the reign of the late 
King Charles, and had been displaced by the king upon his 
accession to the crown, was restored to his former office, 
which had been given to James de Villiers, Lord of Lisle 
Adam, and that day he sat in the Hotel de Ville as mayor, 
and despatched a great deal of the king's business. 

On Thursday, the 7th of November, 1465, M. Robert Des- 
touteville was conducted to the Chastellet of Paris by M. 
Charles de Melun and M. John Dauvet, first president of 
the parliament of Toulouse, whom the king had acquainted 
with the said Robert Destouteville's having taken the oath 
already as mayor of Paris in the room of James de Villiers, 
whom, upon his first accession to the crown, he had advanced 
to that office. And after the letters patent, by which the 
king appointed and constituted the said Robert Destoute- 
ville mayor of Paris, were read, he was immediately put 
into possession of his office, without givirg the said Villiers 
any time to lodge an appeal against him. 

On Saturday, the 9th of November, M. Peter Morvillier, 



1465.] THE SCANDALOUS CHKONICLF 33? 

Chancellor of France, resigned the seals, and was succeeded 
in the chancellorship by Juvenal des Ursins, who was in the 
same post at the death of the late King Charles VII. 

About this time also the king made several alterations 
and promotions in his court; amongst the rest, he turned 
M. Peter Puy out of his office of Master of the Requests, 
and gave it to M. Regnault des Dormans. 

After the settling of this affair the king went to Orleans 
and took with him Arnold Lullier, banker and citizen of 
Paris, whom he commanded to attend him during his stay 
there ; he also carried along with him M. John Longuejoye 
the younger, who was newly married to Madame Genevieve, 
daughter of M. John Baillet, and made him one of his coun- 
sellors of state. Before he left Paris, he made M. Charles 
d'Orgemont, Lord of Mery, Treasurer of France, Arnold 
Lullier Treasurer of Carcassonne, and M. Peter Ferteil 
Comptroller of his Household. 

The king during his stay at Orleans, made several acts, 
laws, and ordinances, turned out several officers of the army, 
and gave their commissions to others ; amongst the rest he 
took away the command of a hundred lances from Poncet de 
Riviere, and made him Bailiff of Mont Ferrant, upon which, 
in disgust, he went beyond sea, and visited Jerusalem, and 
the Holy Hill of St. Catharine. Several other officers had 
their commissions taken from them, and given to others that 
did not so well deserve them. The king also restored 
Monsieur de Loheac, Marshal of France, to all his former 
places in the government, some of which had been given te 
the Count de Comminges, Bastard of Armagnac ; and after 
he had settled these regulations, he left Orleans, and 
marched with his whole army and artillery directly into 
Normandy towards Argentan, Exmes, Falaise, Caen, and 
other places, in order to reduce them to his obedience, where 
he found the Duke of Bretagne, who stayed there some time 
with his majesty. 

A little after this, the Duke of Berry went from Rouen to 
Louviers, thinking to find the Duke of Bourbon there, but 
being disappointed of meeting him, he immediately came 
back again. Upon his return to Rouen, he was with great 
pomp and ceremony conducted into the town-hall by the 
Diagistratea of the city, who, according to the usual custom 

VOL. II. Z 



83S THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1465 

of the place, acknowledged him for their duke by putting a 
ring on his finger; afterwards he took an oath to maintain 
and support them in their privileges and franchises, and im- 
mediately remitted to them half the taxes they were formerly 
used to pay. This act of generosity won the hearts of the 
whole city, and so firmly united them to his interest, that 
the nobility, gentry, clergy, and the common people, vowed 
to sacrifice their lives and fortunes in his service, and to re- 
main his faithful and loyal subjects for ever. And afterwards 
they presented him an old book of records that was in the 
town-hall, and made him read an article in it aloud before 
all the people, which gave an account of a king of France 
heretofore who at his death left two sons, the eldest of whom 
succeeded his father, and the youngest had the duchy of 
Normandy for his appanage: how that the elder brother, as 
soon as he was settled in his kingdom, demanded a restitu- 
tion of the said duchy, and being denied, how he made war 
upon his younger brother, and thought to have taken it 
from him by force, but his subjects unanimously joining 
with him, they dethroned his brother the King of France, 
and set up their duke for king. After he had done reading, 
they boldly told him they feared nothing ; that their for- 
tifications were strong and in good repair ; that tliey had 
great store of cannon, arms, ammunition, and provision, and 
could upon occasion make a brave defence, assuring him they 
would one and all to a man stand by him, and defend him, 
themselves, and the town, against any opposers what- 
soever. 

On the 30th of December of the same year the king in his 
return from Lower Normandy arrived at Pont Audemer, and 
from thence marched into the county of Neufbourg, from 
whence he detached the Duke of Bourbon with a body of 
forces to summon Louviers, which surrendered on the Wed- 
nesday following, and the Duke of Bourbon took possession 
of it for the king, into which his majesty made a public 
entry the same day after dinner. From Louviers the king 
marched to a town called Pont des Arches, about four 
leagues from Rouen, which he formally besieged. 

On Monday, the 6th of January, 1466, a proclamation wns 
issued at Paris, commanding all the sutlers that were used to 
fcH|>plj the army with provisions, to repair immediately to 



14G6 ' TI1E SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. S39 

tlie camp before Pont des Arches, and all the prisoners 
were ordered to be ready by the next morning, to set out 
for the same place, under the command of M. Denis, one of 
the four aldermen of the city, who was appointed to take 
care of them. 

On the Wednesday following the king entered Pont 
des Arches, and M. John Hebert with several others who 
were in the town retired to the castle, which three days after 
was also surrendered to the king. After the surrender of 
the town and castle, the citizens of Rouen sent deputies to 
treat of an accommodation, who highly complained of the 
Dukes of Bourbon and Bretagne. And amongst other requests 
and remonstrances that the said deputies were ordered to 
make to the king, one was, that his majesty would be pleased 
to be reconciled to them, notwithstanding what they had 
done ; that he would openly declare that they had not been 
wanting in their duty, nor acted contrary to his interest ; and 
that he would grant them the same privileges and immu- 
nities he had granted his good city of Paris ; to which his 
majesty answered, he would consult his council about it. 

Whilst this affair was in agitation, several of the king's 
party had free admittance into Rouen, and conversed fami- 
liarly with the citizens ; in the mean time, the Duke ot 
Berry and several of his adherents retired to Honfleur and 
Caen, where they stayed for some time. During these 
transactions, M. John de Lorrain thought to have made his 
escape into Flanders, but was taken and brought before the 
king, who disposed of most of the officers belonging to the 
duchy of Normandy, putting in new officers, and turning 
out the old ones. And after the Duke of Berry's leaving 
Rouen, the city was reduced to the king's obedience, upon 
which the king dismissed all his Frank archers from his 
service till the 1st of March following, sent all his artillery 
to Paris, and retired to Mount St. Michael in Lower Nor- 
mandy. About that time the king gave the command of 
one hundred lances which belonged to M. Charles de Melun 
to the Count de Dammartin, who was with him, and not 
long after deprived him of his office of high steward of his 
household, and gave it to M. de Craon ; however, several 
people were of opinion that M. de Melun had done the king 
tiigual services, and been very faithful to him, especially iu 

z % 



140 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1466. 

his great care and defence of Paris in the king's absence in 
Bourbonnois. which he managed and regulated so well, that 
many sincerely believe that the preservation of that city 
and the whole kingdom is in some measure owing to his 
conduct and vigilance in that affair. 

About that time the king commanded Chaumont upon the 
Loire (belonging to M. Peter of Amboise, lord of the same 
place) to be burnt ; and it was accordingly done. 

On Monday, the 3rd of February, one Gauvain Manniel 
lieutenant-general of the bailiwick of Rouen, was taken in 
the city and carried prisoner to Pont de l'Arche, and there, 
upon a scaffold erected near the town bridge, was beheaded 
by the provost-marshal for high treason, his head fixed on a 
lance on the same bridge, and his body thrown into the river 
Seine. Just after this the Dean of Rouen and six canons 
were banished the city, and expelled the duchy of Nor- 
mandy. 

After this the king went to Orleans, where he stayed a con- 
siderable time with the queen, and then retired to Jargeau and 
the neighbourhood of that place, where ambassadors from se- 
veral potentates upon different affairs came to wait upon his 
majesty. And about that time he resolved to send an embassy 
to the King of England; and accordingly the Count de 
Roussillon Bastard of Bourbon and Admiral of France, the 
Lord de la Barde, the Bishop and Duke of Langres, M. John 
de Pompaincourt, and M. Oliver le Roye one of the coun- 
sellors of the exchequer, were chosen to go in that embassy, 
and they set out for England in April, 1466. 

On Saturday, Whitsun Eve, an order was published by sound 
of trumpet in all the public streets of Paris, by the command 
of the Constable of France, in which order was inserted the 
royal mandate he had newly received from the king, the 
substance of which was, that the king (having received 
certain advice that the English, his ancient enemies, had a 
design to invade the kingdom of France with a powerful 
army, and for that descent were fitting out a strong squadron 
•of men-of-war,) was resolved to make what preparations he 
could to oppose and defeat their designs, and therefore had 
given full power and command to his Constable of France to 
make proclamation of it in all the cities, towns, villages, and 
hamlets of the kingdom, in crder that all the nobility and 



1466.] THE SCANDALOUS CHKONICLZ. 241 

gentry holding any lands by homage or fealty of the crown, 
not excepting the Frank archers, should be ready in arm9 
by the 15th of June following, under pain of imprisonment 
and confiscation of goods. 

At the same time a peace was concluded with the English 
both by sea and land, which was publicly proclaimed ; and 
about that time also, the Duke du Maine was for some 
secret reason turned out of his government of Languedoc by 
the king, which was given to the Duke of Bourbon. 

After the consummation of marriage between the Admiral 
of France and the king's natural daughter, the king gave 
the said admiral the castle of Usson in Auvergne, which was 
looked upon to be the strongest place in the whole kingdom, 
with the government of Honfleur, and several other places 
in Normandy. 

In July, several prelates, lords, churchmen, and counsel- 
lors, that the king had sent for to make some new regula- 
tions in all the courts of justice, and to reform some abuses, 
arrived at Paris, to whom the king gave full power and 
authority ; and by virtue of the same, he nominated and 
appointed twenty-one commissioners, of which M. Charles 
d'Orleans, and the Counts of Dunois and Longueville were 
chief commissioners ; and even these commissioners had no 
powers of acting, unless thirteen of them, besides their pre- 
sidents the Counts de Dunois and Longueville, were assem- 
bled together ; and in pursuance of the commission that had 
been granted them, they began their sittings on Tuesday the 
16th, and were called by the people the reformers of the 
nation. This was just a year since the battle between the 
king and the Count de Charolois at Mont l'Hery. 

About this time a war broke out between the Liegcois and 
the Duke of Burgundy, upon which he immediately took the 
field with his whole army, and being a little indisposed, was 
carried in a litter, commanding his son the Count de Cha- 
rolois, with all the nobles and officers that were with him, 
to march forward with a strong detachment to invest Dinant, 
and leave him to come up with the rest of the army. Upon 
his arrival the town was formally besieged, which occasioned 
several sallies and bloody actions on both sides, much to the 
disadvantage of the Burgundians in the beginning of the 
eiege, but at last, whether by force of arms or treason, the 

x S 



312 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1 168. 

lown was taken by the Burgundians, who, only reserving a 
few of the chief citizens, whom they made prisoners of war, 
turned out men, women, and children, and gave the town up to 
be plundered by their soldiers. Nor were they contented with 
this; they set fire to the churches and the houses, and having 
burnt and consumed everything they could lay their hands 
on, they ordered the walls to be demolished, and the fortifi- 
cations to be blown up, by which means the poor inhabitants 
were reduced to extreme want and necessity, and abundance 
T>f young women were forced to betake themselves to a vile 
and shameful way of living. 

In August and September in the same year, the heats were 
so violent as to breed the plague and several other contagious 
distempers in France, which swept away, in a little space 
of time, above forty thousand people in Paris and the 
neighbouring towns. Some persons of note and learning 
died also of it, amongst whom we may reckon M. Arnoul, 
the king's astrologer, a very worthy, learned, and facetious 
person, several eminent physicians, and abundance of officers 
belonging to the city. 

During the plague, the king and his council stayed at 
Orleans, Chartres, Bourges, Meun, and Amboise, and 
during his abode in that neighbourhood he received several 
embassies from foreign princes and states, especially from 
England and Burgundy ; and it was there he declared in 
council his resolution of making war upon the Duke of 
Burgundy, and his son, the Count de Charolois, upon which 
the ban and arriere-ban were ordered to be raised, and a con- 
siderable augmentation to be made to the body of Frank 
archers. 

After this affair was despatched, the king made several 
new ordinances and establishments for the better defence of 
his kingdom, and the garrisoned towns in it, and accordingly 
he made the Marshal de Loheac his lieutenant of Paris and the 
Isle of France, M. de Geilon had the government of Cham- 
pagne, and the government of Normandy was given to the 
Count de St. Paul, Constable of France, who formerly was the 
king's enemy, and had joined with the Duke of Burgundy 
and the Count de Charolois. 

Some time after this, in February 1467, an ambassador 
from Bretagne arrived at Paris, who, after he had had 



1467.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 343 

audience of the king, set out for Flanders, to wait on the 
Duke of Burgundy and the Count de Charolois his son. 
The many civilities that the king showed this ambassador 
made some persons of note imagine that the affair between 
the king and his brother was amicably adjusted, at which 
they were extremely glad. 

Immediately after this, the king set out from Paris, in 
order to visit Rouen and several other places in Normandy, 
and during his stay at Rouen he sent for the Earl of Warwick 
out of England, and went by water, attended by several of 
his nobility, as far as Bouille, to meet him, which was 
situated on the Seine, about four leagues from Rouen. He 
arrived thereon the 7th of June, 1467, about dinner-time, 
where he found a magnificent entertainment ready prepared 
for him and his nobility, and after dinner the Earl of War- 
wick came to pay his compliments to the king, after which 
he went to Rouen by water, and the king and his nobility by 
land. The magistrates of Rouen, in their formalities, were 
ordered to go out to meet the Earl of Warwick, and receive 
him, upon his landing, at the Key-Gate of St. Eloy, with 
abundance of pomp and ceremony, bearing before him 
crosses, banners, holy-water bottles, and the relics of several 
saints, attended by the priests in their copes ; and after this 
manner he was conducted to the church of Notre Dame, 
where he made his offering, and from thence to a magnificent 
apartment prepared for him in one of the religious houses. 
Soon after this, the queen and the young princesses came to 
Rouen, and the king stayed there with the Earl of Warwick 
about a fortnight ; after which the earl took leave of his 
majesty, and returned to England, accompanied by the 
Admiral of France, the Bishop of Laon, M. John de Pom- 
paincourt, M. Olivier le Roux, and several others, whom 
the king had ordered to wait on him thither. 

The king presented the Earl of Warwick, during his stay 
at Rouen, with several valuable and rich presents, amongst 
the rest a piece of gold plate, and a large gold cup set with 
precious stones. The Duke of Bourbon also presented him 
with a line diamond, and several other things of value ; 
besides which, he and his whole retinue had all their expenses 
borne by the king from their first landing in France to 
their embarking fur England. After the earl's departure 

l 4 



3i4 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1-467. 

the king returned from Rouen to Chartres, where lie stayed 
some time ; and in this month died Philip, Duke of Bur- 
gundy, and his body was carried with great solemnity to 
Dijon, and interred in the church of the Carthusians. 

Immediately after this, the king ordered a proclamation 
to be published, by which (in order to repeople his good city 
of Paris, that had been greatly diminished by war, sickness, 
and other misfortunes) his majesty gave leave to strangers 
of all nations, of what crimes soever they had been guilty, 
except high-treason, to come and settle in the city, suburbs, 
or precincts thereof, promising to grant them the same pri- 
vileges as his own subjects, and to defend and protect them, 
even not excepting those that had been banished to St. 
Maloes and Valenciennes. At the same time, also, by sound 
of trumpet, was published an order, commanding all the 
nobles and gentry holding any lands or tenures by homage 
or fealty, even not excepting those in the Isle of France, as 
-well in Paris as elsewhere, to be ready in arms by the 15th 
of August. 

About this time, the Admiral of France, and those that 
were ordered by the king to wait on the Earl of Warwick 
into England, returned, where they had stayed a long while 
without doing any thing, and brought with them some 
hunting-horns and leathern bottles, as a present from the 
King of England to the King of France, in return for all the 
valuable gifts his majesty and the Duke of Bourbon had 
made the Earl of Warwick at his departure from Rouen. 
And on Friday, the 18th of August, the king arrived at 
Paris, about nine at night, attended by the Duke of Bourbon 
and several of the nobility. 

On Tuesday, the 1st of September, the queen also came 
from Rouen to Paris by water, and landed at Notre Dame, 
where her majesty was received by all the presidents and 
counsellors of the court of parliament, the Bishop of Paris, 
and several persons of quality in their robes and formalities. 
There was also a certain number of persons richly dressed 
to compliment her on the part of the city, and abundance of 
the chief citizens and counsellors of Paris went by water to 
meet her majesty in line gilded boats covered with tapestry 
and rich silks, in which were placed the choristers of the 
Holy Chapel, who sang psalms and anthems after a most 



1 i67-] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 3 \t 

heavenly and melodious manner. There was also a great 
number of trumpets, clarions, and other softer instruments of 
music, which altogether made a most harmonious concert, and 
began playing when the queen and her maids of honour en- 
tered tlie boat ; in which the citizens of Paris presented her 
majesty with a large stag made of sweetmeats, besides a 
vast quantity of salvers heaped up with spices and all sorts of 
delicious fruits, roses, violets, and other perfumes being strewed 
in the boat, and as much wine as every body would drink. 
After the queen had performed her devotions to the blessed 
Virgin she came back to her boat, and went by water to the 
Celestines' church-gate, where she found abundance of per- 
sons of quality ready to receive her majesty, who, imme- 
diately upon her landing, with her maids of honour, mounted 
upon tine easy palfreys, and rode to the Hotel des Tournelles, 
where the king was at that time, and where she was received 
with great joy and satisfaction by his majesty and the whole 
court; and that night there were public rejoicings and bon- 
fires in Paris for her majesty's safe arrival. 

On the 14th of September, the king, who had ordered the 
Parisians to make standards, published a proclamation, 
commanding all the inhabitants, from sixteen to sixty, of 
what rank or condition soever, to be ready to appear in 
arms that very day in the fields, and that those that were 
not able to provide themselves with helmets, brigandines, 
&c, should come armed with great clubs, under pain of 
death ; which orders were punctually obeyed, and the 
greatest part of the populace appeared in arms, ranged under 
their proper standard or banner, in good order and discipline, 
amounting to eighty thousand men, thirty thousand of 
whom were armed with coats of mail, helmets, and brigan- 
dines, and made a very fine appearance. Never did any city 
in the world furnish such a vast number of men, for it was 
computed there were sixty-seven banners or standards of 
tradesmen, without reckoning those of the court of parlia- 
ment, exchequer, treasury, mint, and chastellet of Paris, 
which had under them as many or more soldiers than what 
belonged to the tradesmen's banners. A prodigious quantity 
of wine was ordered out of Paris, to comfort and refresh 
this vast body of men, which took up a vast tract of ground, 
extending themselves from the end of the Lay Stall, betv/eea 



346 THE SCANDALOUS CHUONICLR. [1167 

St. Anthony's gate and that of the Temple, as fur as the 
Town-ditch upwards to the Winepress, and from thence 
along the walls of St. Antoine des Champs, to the Grange 
de Ruilly, and from thence to Conflans, and from Conflans 
back again by the Grange-aux-Merciers, all along the river 
Seine, quite to the Royal Bulwark over against the tower of 
Billy, and from thence all along the Town-ditch on the out- 
side to the Bastile and St. Anthony's gate. In short, it 
was almost incredible to tell what a vast number of people 
there were in arms before Paris ; yet the number of those 
within was pretty nearly as great. 

About this time a terrible war broke out between the 
Liegeois, and the Duke of Burgundy, and their bishop, 
cousin to the Duke of Burgundy, and brother to the Duke 
of Bourbon, whom they besieged in Huye, and after a long 
siege took the town, but the bishop made his escape ; and 
towards the latter end of it the king sent four hundred 
lances under the command of the Count de Dammartin, 
Sallezart, Robert de Conychan, and Stevenot de Vignolles, 
with six thousand Frank archers, picked and chosen out of 
Champagne, Soissonnois, and several places in the Isle of 
France. As soon as the Burgundians heard that the Lei- 
geois had taken Huye, they resolved immediately to take the 
field with their whole army, and to march against them and 
destroy them with fire and sword, to be revenged of them, 
for the Burgundians they had slain upon their taking the 
town. Accordingly they declared war against them through- 
out all their dominions by the ceremony of a naked sword in 
one hand, and a burning torch in the other, signifying that 
this was a war of blood and fire. 

About the same time the king sent the Bishop of Evreux, 
who was lately made a cardinal at Rome, M. John de La- 
driesme, treasurer of France, and several others, on an em- 
bassy to the Count de Charolois, to negotiate some secret 
affair with that prince. 

On Sunday night about nine, there was such terrible 
thunder and lightning as had scarce been known in the 
memory of man ; and during the whole month there were 
such prodigious heats as surprised every body, which was 
looked upon to be very strange and unnatural. 



1467.] TIIK SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 347 

On Thursday the fifteenth of the same month, the king 
received advice tliat a great detachment of Bretons had 
possessed themselves of the town and castle of Caen, in 
Normandy, and from thence marched to Bayeux, which they 
also surprised, and turning out the garrison, put some of 
their own troops in it. The king was extremely concerned 
at this news, and immediately sent the Marshal de Loheac, 
who had the command of one hundred lances of Bretagne, 
into Normandy, to see how affairs stood there. 

About this time, M. Anthony de Chasteauneuf (Lord of 
Lau, great butler of France, and seneschal of Guienne, great 
chamberlain to the king, and the most beloved and rewarded 
of any favourite the king ever had) was, by his majesty's 
order, moved from the castle of Sully upon the Loire, where 
he had been long a prisoner, to the castle of Usson in 
Aver^ne, by M. Tristan l'Ermite the king's provost-marshal, 
and William Serisay, newly chosen register in parliament ; 
and upon this removal there was a discoui'se, which lasted 
some time, that he was executed, but it was a false report. 

On Tuesday, the 20th of October, the king set out from 
Paris for Normandy, and lay that night at Villepereux, and 
the next at Mantes. Before he left Paris he sent for several 
of his captains and officers of his army, and ordered them to 
get the troops that were under their command in readiness to 
follow him into Normandy, or wherever there should be 
most occasion for them ; and on the same day he published 
certain letters and ordinances, by which he declared that it 
was his royal will and pleasure that for the future all the 
officers of his kingdom, both civil and military, should con- 
tinue in their places, and that no place should become vacant 
but by death, resignation, or forfeiture, resolving to dispose 
of no places but what became vacant by one of the three 
before-mentioned ways, and therefore it would be in vain 
for any one to expect or solicit for a post upon any other 
terms, since he designed to do justice to every one. After 
this declaration, he set out from Mantes for Vernon on the 
Seine, where he stayed flome time, during which the Constable 
of France, who came thither to pay his respects to the king, 
found out an expedient how to conclude a peace between 
his majesty and the Duke of Burgundy, for six months from 
the date of the artich s, without including the Liegeoi^ 



848 THK SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1467 

who were actually in arms against the Duke of Bur- 
gundy, in hopes of being assisted by the king, as they were 
promised ; but by this treaty they were balked in their ex- 
pectations, and left in the lurch. As soon as the treaty was 
signed and sealed by the king, the Constable of France went 
to wait on the Duke of Burgundy to acquaint him with it. 

Soon after this M. John de Balue, Bishop of Evreux, M. 
John Ladrische, and the rest that had been sent into 
Flanders to negotiate an affair at the Duke of Burgundy's 
court, came to Vernon, to give the king an account of their 
embassy ; immediately after which the king left Vernon, and 
came to Chartres, where he stayed till the arrival of the 
greatest part of his artillery from Orleans, which was to be 
employed in the reduction of Alencon, and several other 
towns in the same province. And afterwards the king sent 
M. John Prevost into Flanders with the articles of peace to 
the Duke of Burgundy. 

On the 16th the Bishop of Evreux, the Treasurer de 
Ladrische.. M. John Berart, and M. Jeffery Alnequin, arrived 
at Paris, in order to review the banners, and to inspect 
several other things that the king had given them in charge. 
After that the king went from Chartres to Orleans, Clery, 
and other towns in that neighbourhood, and afterwards to 
Vendome, from whence he marched with great part of his 
artillery and a considerable body of troops to Mount St. 
Michael. In the mean time the Bretons with a strong army 
left their own country, and penetrated into Normandy as far 
as the city of Orange, and other towns of that province, and 
also dispersed themselves in small bodies all over Normandy, 
as far as Caen, Bayeux, Coutances, and other places. 
About the same time the Duke of Burgundy, taking advan- 
tage of the peace that was concluded between him and the 
king, in which the Liegeois were excluded, marches against 
them with his whole army, and lays siege to their capital city ; 
and they being balked in the expectation of those succours 
that the king promised to send them, and seeing their ruin 
near at hand, were at last forced to surrender all their towns 
to the Count de Charolois, besides giving him a vast sum of 
money, and consenting to have their gates pulled down, and 
part of their walls demolished. 

Or. Saturday, the 22nd of November, the Bishop of 



1467." THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 34.9 

Evreux, and the rest of the commissioners appointed for 
that purpose, reviewed the bands of the tradesmen as they 
were drawn up and ranged under their respective banners 
in several places in the city. And the very same day the 
king commanded a proclamation to be issued out, com- 
manding all persons that were used to serve in the wars to 
repair forthwith to certain commissaries appointed to receive 
and give them pay. And the next day M. John Prevost 
returned from the Duke of Burgundy's court, whither the 
king had sent him with the articles of peace, and brought 
his majesty back the answer the Count de Charolois had 
given him in relation to that affair. On Thursday the 16th 
of November, there was another review made of all the 
banners without the gates of Paris. As soon as the review 
was over, the Bishop of Evreux, and the rest of the com- 
missioners, with M. John de Ladrische, Treasurer of 
France, M. Peter l'Orfevre, Lord of Ermenonville, and several 
other of the king's officers, set out from Paris to wait upon 
the king, who was between Mans and Alencon with a pro- 
digious army consisting of one hundred thousand horse, and 
twenty thousand foot, in order to oppose the Bretons ; upon 
which his majesty ordered the greatest part of his artillery 
to be brought up, to be employed in the siege of Alencon. 

During these transactions there were some overtures of 
peace which hindered the king from entering upon action ; 
and so by consequence his army was forced to destroy and 
eat up all the flat country for twenty or thirty leagues round 
Mans and Alencon. In the mean time the Count de Charo- 
lois, who had already destroyed the Liegeois, and overrun 
the country, retired to St. Quentin ; and ordered a procla- 
mation to he issued out through his whole dominions, 
commanding all his subjects that were able to bear arms, 
and those forces that were already raised, to repair to St. 
Quentin by a certain day upon pain of imprisonment, in 
order to be reviewed by certain commissaries appointed for 
that purpose. The same proclamation he caused to be pub 
lished in Burgundy, commanding all his subjects of that 
duchy to repair to Montsavion by the 22nd of December, as 
a place of general rendezvous, where several commissaries 
were also appointed to enlist and enter them in his service ; 
from whence they were ordered to march and join the 



fc5" HE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [H67. 

forces at St. Quentin, which were to act in conjunction with 
those of the Dukes of Berry and Bretagne, against the king 
of France. Upon publishing of this proclamation, several 
merchants of Paris that were gone into Burgundy to buy 
up some commodities, made a quick return, without doing 
any business; and the Count de Charolois ordered all his 
forces to rendezvous at St. Quentin on the 4th of January 
following. 

On Innocents' day, which was the 28th of December, the 
Duke of Bourbon, who came by the king's order to put 
strong garrisons into his frontier-towns, and to cover his 
country, that the Burgundians might not penetrate into it, 
arrived at Paris, and with him the Marshal de Loheac, who, 
according to common report, was to be lieutenant of the 
city. The Duke of Bourbon made some stay at Paris ; but 
the Marshal de Loheac set out two days after for Rouen, and 
several other towns in Normandy, to put them in a posture 
of defence, according to the king's orders ; where he stayed a 
considerable time. The Parisians were extremely civil to 
the Duke of Bourbon, and during his stay there he was ca- 
ressed by several of the chief citizens, who made feasts and 
entertainments on purpose for him. In the mean time the 
city of Alencon, which was in the hands of the Bretons, 
was surrendered to the king by the Count du Perche, son 
to the Duke of Alencon, who commanded in the castle at 
the same time that the Bretons were masters of the town. 
All this time the king did not stir from Mans ; and during 
his stay there, he sent the Pope's legate, whom we have 
already mentioned, Anthony de Chabannes, Count de 
Dammartin, the Treasurer Ladriesche, and several others, 
on an embassy to the Duke of Berry, to offer terms of ac- 
commodation ; and at last the king consented to the calling 
the three Estates of the kingdom. Tours was the place ap- 
pointed for their meeting, where, according to order, they 
were assembled on the first of April, 1467, upon which the 
king left Mans, and came to Montils near Tours, Amboise, 
and thereabouts. 

As soon as the three Estates of the kingdom w r ere assem- 
bled, the king came and acquainted them with the occasion 
of their meeting ; and had, from time to time, several debates 
tad conferences with them concerning the affair between 



1488.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. J.'l 

him and Ii is brother the Duke of Berry, till the time of 
their breaking up, which was on Easter Day, 1468. There 
were present at this assembly, the king, the King of Sicily, 
the Duke of Bourbon, the Count du Perche, the Patriarch 
of Jerusalem, the Cardinal of Angers, several other lords, 
barons, archbishops, bishops, abbots, and abundance of other 
persons of quality and condition, besides several ambassadors 
from all parts of France. And by this august assembly it 
was agreed and resolved (after a long and mature delibera* 
tion, in order to end the dispute between the king and his 
brother Charles concerning his appanage), that his ma- 
jesty should allow him twelve thousand livres a-year in 
land, with the title of count or duke ; and that he should 
be obliged to give and allow him besides, an annual pension 
in money of sixty thousand livres more, without any preju- 
dice to the rest of his majesty's children, who hereafter 
might come to the crown, and be required to give the same 
appanage. To which the king (being extremely desirous 
to live in perfect peace and union with his brother) at last 
consented, and willingly gave him the annual allowance of 
sixty thousand livres, seeing he generously relinquished the 
ducby of Normandy, saying it was not in the king's power 
to dismember or give away any thing that belonged to the 
crown. And as for the Duke of Bretagne, who had sided with 
Lord Charles, and had taken several towns in Normandy, 
being suspected to hold a correspondence with the English, 
the ancient enemies of France, it wasagreed by the said assem- 
bly, that he should be summoned to surrender the towns he 
was possessed of, and that, upon refusal, and the king's 
having certain advice of his having made an alliance with 
the English, his majesty should immediately endeavour to 
recover them by force of arms, and the three Estates of the 
kingdom promised to stand by and support him ; the clergy, 
with their prayers and estates ; and the nobility, gentry, and 
commonalty, with their estates and persons. And, moreover, 
the king was extremely desirous that justice should be fairly 
and impartially administered through the whole kingdom ; 
and therefore he proposed to this assembly the choosing 
some persons of honour and quality out of the three Estates, 
to regulate and take care of that matter; and the whole a£- 
f^mbly were of opinion that nobody was so tit to be em- 



352 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1468. 

ployed in that office as the Count de Charolois, who was a 
peer of Fiance, and nearly allied to the crown. After 
this debate was over, the king left Tours, and went to Am- 
boise ; and a little after he sent to the assembly, then sitting 
at Cambray, to know how they approved of the resolution 
that had been taken by the three Estates of the kingdom 
that were convened at Tours, as you have already heard. 

After the king had despatched this affair, he went to 
Meaux, in Brie, where he ordered a certain person, born in 
Bourbonnois, to be beheaded for some crimes he had com- 
mitted, and amongst the rest for discovering the king's se- 
crets to the English, the ancient enemies of France. Just 
before this, the king was graciously pleased to grant an act 
of grace and indemnity ; and the Prince of Piedmont, the 
Duke of Savoy's son, was sent to Paris with full power and 
authority to release all the prisoners out of jail. 

About the same time, the Burgundians or the Bretons, 
who had invaded Normandy, surprised the Lord de Merville 
between St. Sauveur de Dive and Caen, and made him de- 
liver up his castle into their hands, in which there was a 
small number of Frank archers. As soon as they had sur- 
rendered it, they hanged the Lord de Merville, plundered 
the castle, and afterwards set fire to it. After this the king 
left Creil, and went to Compeigne, where he stayed some 
time, and then returned to Senlis, and from thence the 
Duke of Bourbon went to Paris, where he arrived on the 
Assumption of Our Lady. Some time before this, the king 
had sent M. de Lyon, the Constable of France, and several 
other lords, on an embassy to the Duke of Burgundy, to en- 
deavour to adjust the difference between them, without 
coming to an open war, notwithstanding he had already 
sent an army into Normandy under the command of 
the Admiral of France, who had been so successful as in a 
month's time to drive the Bretons out of Bayeux. On 
Saturday, the 20th of August, 1468, M. Charles de Melun, 
Lord of Normanville (who had formerly been steward of 
the king's household), was brought out of the castle of Gail- 
lart, where he had been newly committed prisoner, under 
the command of the Count de Dammartin, and publicly be- 
headed in the market-place of Andely, according to the sen- 
tence that had been pronounced against him by the provost- 



1468.] THE SCANDALOUS CIIRONICLE. 353 

marshal. After this, the king staid some time at Noyon, 
Compiegne, Chavay, and other places thereabouts, till the 
15th of September, where he received the agreeable news 
of the Duke of Bretagne and hia brother Charles's readiness 
to consent to the terms of accommodation that his majesty had 
proposed to them, and that his brother Charles was ready 
to accept of his annual pension of sixty thousand livres tour- 
nois, till his appanage could be fully settled by the Duko 
of Calabria and the Constable of France, who were the per- 
sons he had chosen to settle and manage that affair. The 
Duke of Bretagne, on his part, offered to surrender all the 
towns he had taken from the king in Normandy, provided 
his majesty would restore all those that his troops were in 
possession of in Bretagne, to which the king readily con- 
sented. 

The king immediately sent an express to the Duke of 
Burgundy, who lay encamped hetween Esclusiers and Cappy, 
to acquaint him with this accommodation, but he would give 
no credit to it till it was farther confirmed by certain ad- 
vices from the Duke of Bretagne and Lord Charles ; however, 
he would not retire with his army, but still continued in the 
same post between Esclusiers and Cappy, behind the river 
Somme. During his encampment there, several persons of 
quality were deputed to wait on the Duke of Burgundy, 
amongst whom were the Constable of France, the Cardinal 
of Angers, and M. Peter Doriolle, in hopes of accommodating 
matters amicably between him and the king, which his ma- 
jesty was extremely desirous of; but the officers of his army 
were of another mind, and begged the king that he would 
give them leave to attack the Duke of Burgundy in his 
camp, not questioning but that they should defeat him, and 
oblige him to accept of what terms his majesty should pro- 
pose ; but the king would not hear of it, and upon pain of 
death forbade them to attempt anything against him. And 
from that time to the 12th of October there was a great dis- 
course of the king's having made a truce with the Duke of 
Burgundy till the April following; and upon the hopes of 
that truce the king resolved to return from Compiegne to 
Creil and Pontoise ; wherefore he sent harbingers before 
to prepare his lodgings, but afterwards he altered his 
resolution, and went in great haste from Compiegne to 

VOL. II. XX 



354 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1468. 

Noyon, where he had been but a little time before. In the 
meantime Philip of Savoy, Poncet de Riviere, the Lord du 
Lau, and several others that were confederate with them, 
did abundance of mischief. And on Saturday, the 8th of 
October, a proclamation was issued out, commanding all the 
nobility and gentry within the precincts of Paris, that held 
any lands or tenures by homage or fealty of the crown, to be 
ready in arms at Gonesse, and to march from thence, on 
the Monday following, wherever they should be commanded; 
at which several persons at Paris were astonished, believing, 
by this preparation, that no truce had been made. After 
this, the king left Noyon, and the Duke of Burgundy set 
out from the army for Peronne, whither the king, attended 
only by the Duke of Bourbon, the Cardinal of Angers, and 
a few of the officers of his household, went immediately to 
pay the Duke of Burgundy a visit, who received him with 
all the respect and honour imaginable, as in duty he was 
obliged to do ; and after a long conference together, the dif- 
ference that was between them was amicably adjusted. The 
Duke of Burgundy, on his part, swore homage to the king, and 
vowed never to attempt anything against his majesty for the 
future; and the king confirmed and ratified the treaty of Arras, 
and several other things; upon which a courier was immedi- 
ately despatched to acquaint the nobility, gentry, and common- 
alty with the news of this accommodation, and to order the 
Bishop of Paris to cause a general procession to be made, and 
Te Deum to be sung in the church of Notre Dame, which was 
accordingly performed ; and the night concluded with bon- 
fires, fountains running with wine, and the usual solemnities 
on such occasions. In the meantime news came that the 
Liegeois had taken and killed their bishop and all his 
officers ; at which the king, the Duke of Burgundy, and the 
Duke of Bourbon, were extremely concerned, and there was 
great talk that the king and the Duke of Burgundy would go 
in person to destroy the Liegeois, and ruin their country, to 
be revenged on them for theirlate barbarous action of murder- 
ing their bishop. But, immediately, the news of the bishop's 
death was conti'adicted ; however, the Liegeois obliged him to 
say mass, and afterwards humbly submitted to him, and ac- 
knowledged him for their sovereign lord, being willing to pul 



1468.] TUB SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. Ii55 

an end to those calamities and misfortunes they had already 
brought upon themselves. 

About this time the king went to Halle, in Germany, where 
he made but a short stay ; during which, at the Duke of 
Burgundy's intercession, he pardoned Philip of Savoy and 
the rest of his confederates, and received them into his 
favour again. From Halle his majesty went to Namur to 
visit the Duke of Burgundy, whom he resolved to accom- 
pany to the siege, of Liege, and had his quarters assigned 
him in the suburbs of that city during the whole siege, 
which lasted some time, and he was attended by the Duke 
of Bourbon, M. de Lyon, M. de Beaujeu, and the Bishop of 
Liege, who were all brothers. It seems the Bishop of Liege 
was sent out of the town to wait on the Duke of Burgundy, 
in order to make terms of capitulation with him in behalf of 
the Liegeois, who offered to surrender the town and all that 
was in it, provided he would spare the lives of the inhabit- 
ants ; but he would not grant them those conditions, vowing 
to sacrifice his whole army rather than not force them to .sur- 
render at discretion, and he ordered the Bishop of Liege to 
be detained, notwithstanding he told him he had solemnly 
promised the Liegeois to return into the city, and live and 
die with them, if he could not obtain any honourable condi- 
tions for them. As soon as the Liegeois were informed that 
the Duke of Burgundy had detained their bishop against 
his will, they made several sallies upon the Burgundians 
and the king's forces, and all they took prisoners they put to 
death. However, notwithstanding all this, on Sunday, the 
30th of October, the Duke of Burgundy ordered his men to 
prepare f »r storming the town, which was done the same 
day, and after little or no resistance the king, the Dukes of 
Burgundy and Bourbon, with the Lords de Lyon, de Liege, 
and de Beaujeu, entered it, out of which the greatest part of 
the inhabitants that were in health had retired just before 
the last attack, leaving only a few old men, women, children, 
priests, and nuns, whose throats were all cut by the soldiers, 
who committed a thousand other barbarous and inhuman 
actions, such as ravishing the women, and killing them 
afterwards, defiling of nuns even in the very churches, and 
murdering the priests while they were consecrating the host 
at the altar. And not being satisfied with th g scene of 

▲ A 2 



556 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1459. 

Mood and horror, they plundered the town, set fire to it, 
and demolished the walls. 

After this action was over, the king returned to Senlis 
and Compiegne, where he ordered the court of parliament, the 
exchequer treasurers, and the rest of the civil officers of his 
kingdom to attend him, and upon their arrival he made 
several laws and ordinances ; and having no design of stay- 
ing there long, he ordered the Cardinal of Angers to ac- 
quaint them with the terms of accommodation between him 
and the Duke of Burgundy, which were specified and con- 
tained in forty-two articles, which were openly read to 
them by the said Cardinal, who told them that it was the 
king's royal will and pleasure that these articles of peace 
should immediately be ratified and confirmed in parliament 
under such penalties as he declared to them. The king, 
having despatched this affair, drew nearer to Paris, but 
would not enter the city ; however, the Duke of Bourbon, 
M. de Lyon, M. de Beaujeu, tlie Marquis du Pont, and 
several other great lords, came and staid there some time. 

On Saturday, the 19th of November, the peace between 
the king and the Duke of Burgundy was proclaimed by 
sound of trumpet in all the public streets in Paris. At 
the same time there was another proclamation issued out 
by the king's order, commanding everybody for the future 
not to speak against or reflect upon the Duke of Burgundy, 
either by speeches, signs, pictures, libels, or scandalous 
verses, under very severe penalties, which were explained 
and specified in the said edict. 

In February the Duke of Burgundy's ambassadors arrived 
at Paris, to hasten the signing the articles of peace that had 
been concluded between the king and him, upon which the 
king wrote expressly to the mayor and the rest of the civil 
magistrates of Paris to treat and entertain them handsomely ; 
and his majesty's orders were punctually obeyed, and the 
ambassadors were nobly entertained and feasted. In the 
meantime the articles of peace we have already mentioned 
were registered in all the courts of Paris. 

In April 1469, M. John Balue, Cardinal of Angers (on 
whom the king had in a short time conferred vast riches 
and honours, doing more for him than for any prince of the 
blood, and whom the Pope, by his majesty's recommendation, 






1469.] TI1E SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 357 

had advanced to a cardinal's hat), most shamefully betrayed the 
confidence the king had reposed in him ; and having neither 
God in his thoughts, nor the honour nor interest of* the 
kingdom before his eyes, basely betrayed his majesty into 
the Duke of Burgundy's hands at Peronne, where he ad- 
vised him to that ignominious peace which was there con- 
cluded between them, and then persuaded him to accompany 
the Duke of Burgundy to the siege of Liege, who had 
taken up arms against him purely upon the king's account ; 
so that, in short, his majesty's going thither was the chief 
occasion of the ruin and desolation of the poor Liegeois. 
But to aggravate the matter, the king, the Duke of Bourbon, 
and the rest of the nobility that attended his majesty, were 
very near being all killed or taken, which would have been 
the greatest blow the kingdom of France had ever received 
since its first establishment. The Cardinal, not being con- 
tented with this piece of villany, immediately contrived how 
to do a greater ; and therefore, upon the king's return to Paris, 
in his way to Tours, he used his utmost endeavours to induce 
his majesty to fall out with his good citizens of Paris, who 
had hitherto expressed so much zeal and loyalty for his 
person. After this he employed all his cunning arts and 
stratagems to foment. and inflame the difference that was 
between the king and his brother Charles. But finding 
himself disappointed there, and having certain advice that 
all matters were amicably adjusted in the late journey the 
king made to Tours and Angers, and that they were per- 
fectly reconciled to each other, he tried to raise jealousy and 
misunderstanding between the king and the rest of the no- 
bility, as he had formerly done. And, in order to create 
as much trouble and confusion as he possibly could in the 
kingdom, lie despatched a certain emissary of his with 
letters to the Duke of Burgundy, to acquaint him that 
the peace or agreement that was lately concluded between 
the king and his brother Charles was directly contrary 
to his interest and advantage, and made on purpose to turn 
their arms jointly against him, wherefore he advised him to 
stand upon his guard, and immediately take the field, to 
prevent their designs. Several other arguments he made 
use of to induce the Duke of Burgundy to invade the king- 
dom of France with a powerful army ; but by good fortune 

A A 3 



33S TffE 8CANDAL0US CHKOmCI.E. [1469. 

his letters were seized and carried to the king, who, upon 
the discovery of his treacherous designs, immediately or- 
dered him to he sent prisoner to Montbason, where he was 
committed to the charge and custody of M. de Torcy and 
several other officers. After this, the king seized upon all his 
goods, lands, and chattels, of which he ordered an inventory 
to be made, and also appointed M. Tanneguy du Chastel 
governor of Iloussillon, M. William Cousinot, M. de Torcy, 
and M. Peter Doriolle as commissioners to examine him. 
The king some time afterwards disposed of the Cardinal's 
goods as his majesty thought fit; his set of plate was sold, 
and the money carried into the treasury for the king's use ; 
the fine hangings of his palace were given to the governor 
of Roussillon ; his library to M. Peter Doriolle ; a fine piece 
of cloth of gold, valued at one thousand two hundred crowns, 
with a great quantity of sables, and a large piece of scarlet 
embroidered with gold, was given to M. de Crussol ; and his 
robes, with a little more of his furniture, were sold to pay 
the clerks and other officers that were employed to take the 
inventory. 

In the meantime the King and Queen of Sicily came to 
pay a visit to the king at Tours and Amboise, and were 
nobly and kindly entertained by his majesty. After which, 
attended by the Duke of Bourbon and several other lords of 
his kingdom, he made a tour to Niort, Rochelle, and several 
other places in that neighbourhood, where he met his 
brother the Duke of Guienne, and, by the grace of God and 
the assistance of the blessed Virgin, a firm union and friend- 
ship was settled between them, to the great joy and satis- 
faction of the kingdom ; upon which Te Deum was ordered 
to be sung in the church of Notre Dame in Paris, and bonfires 
and rejoicings were made in all the cities and towns in 
France, and after that the king came back to Amboise, where 
he had left the queen, who had been very instrumental in 
his late reconciliation. Some time afterwards the king re- 
solved in council to attempt the reduction of the earldom of 
Armagnac, and if the enterprise succeeded, promised to give 
it to his brother the Duke of Guienne ; and in order to 
reduce it to his obedience, he sent a considerable body of 
forces with some cannon, which were to be followed, in 
case of need, by the whole army. After the king had finished 






MG.').] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 359 

his preparations for this expedition, he went to Orleans, 
where he stayed five or six days, and then returned to Am- 
boise again. 

On Saturday, the 4th of November 1469, was published, 
by sound of trumpet in all the streets of Paris, the league, of- 
fensive and defensive, that had been lately concluded between 
France and Spain, in the presence of both the criminal and 
civil lieutenants of that city, and the greatest part of the ex- 
aminers of the Chastellet. And from that time the king, the 
Duke of Bourbon, and the rest of the nobility that attended 
on his majesty, stayed at Amboise and in that neighbourhood 
till Saturday the 23rd of December, upon which day the 
Duke of Guienne, attended by all the nobility of his duchy, 
came to wait on the king at his Chateau de Montils, near 
Tours, where his majesty was extremely glad to see him. 
And as soon as the queen was informed of the Duke of 
Guienne's being there, her majesty immediately left Am- 
boise; and being attended by the Duchess of Bourbon, her 
maids of honour, and several other ladies of the court, came 
to pay him a visit, and to feast and entertain him. In the 
meantime the country of Armagnac was delivered up into 
the king's hands without any manner of bloodshed, and the 
king, queen, Duke of Guienne, and Duchess of Bourbon, 
spent their time at the Chateau de Montils in feastings 
and diversions till Christmas. And after the Duke of 
Guienne had taken his leave of the king and queen and the 
whole court, and was set out for his dukedom, the king went 
back to liochelle, St. Jean dAngele, and other neighbouring 
countries, where he called an assembly of the three Estates of 
the kingdom to consult about some important affair, and 
to appoint new officers in the duchy of Guienne, who might 
fairly and impartially administer justice to his subjects. 
And after the king had settled that affair, he returned to 
Amboise, where he stayed some time, during which he sent 
his ambassadors to the Duke of Bretagne with the order of 
St. Michael, which he had lately instituted, as he had done 
to several other lords of his kingdom ; but the Duke of Bre- 
tagne at first refused the honour his majesty designed him, 
and would not wear it, pretending he could not take the oath 
belonging to that order, as he had already accepted of that 
of the Golden Fleece from the Duke of Burgundy, and wa« 

▲ A 4 



<*50 THE SCANDALOUS CI1KONICLE. [1170. 

become his friend and confederate in arms ; at which the 
king, being highly incensed, and not without cause, imme- 
diately ordered a considerable body of his men-at-arms and 
archers, with some cannon and field-pieces, to be ready to 
march into Bretagne, and lay the country under contribution; 
but before those forces were ordered to march, the king gave 
the Duke of Bretagne ten days' time to consider of it, and to 
acquaint his majesty with his resolutions. 

On Wednesday, the 13th of February, 1470, was published 
in all the public streets of Paris the king's mandate, by which 
his majesty acquainted the mayor of Paris that he had re- 
ceived certain advice from England that King Edward IV., 
and the nobility, gentry, and commonalty, with whom that 
king had been at war for some time, were reconciled to 
each other, and that they had unanimously agreed in Par- 
liament to invade the kingdom of France with a powerful 
army ; wherefore the king (in order to oppose and prevent 
their designs) had commanded the ban and the arriere-ban 
to be raised, and ordered the mayor of Paris forthwith to 
summon all nobles and not nobles, all the privileged persons 
and not privileged persons, within the precincts of that city, 
holding any lands by homage or fealty of the crown, to be 
ready in arms on the first of March following, on pain of 
imprisonment and confiscation of goods. By the same letters 
patent, the mayor of Paris and all other officers belonging 
to the king were forbidden, und-T the same severe penalties, 
to admit of any excuse or certificate from any persons what- 
soever holding lands or tenures by homage or fealty of the 
crown ; and that whosoever should refuse to obey the sum- 
mons should be looked upon as enemies to the king and 
government, and be punished as rebels and traitors to their 
country. On the same day news was brought to Paris that 
the Duke of Burgundy had been seen in Ghent with a red 
cross and garter upon one of his legs, which was the order of 
Edward IV., King of England ; upon which the Duke of 
Burgundy was immediately declared an enemy to the king- 
dom, and looked upon as an Englishman. 

In May, 1470, the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of 
Clarence, with their ladies, who had been driven out of Eng- 
land by Edward IV., with a slender retinue, and some ships, 
laaded at Honfleur and Ilarfleur in Normandy, where 



1470.] TIIF SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 361 

they were kindly received and entertained by the admiral of 
France, who lodged the Earl of Warwick, the Duke of 
Clarence, with their ladies, and some of the chief of their re- 
tinue, in his own palace, and took care to have their ships 
laid up safely in the harbours of Honfleur and Harfleur. 
A little after the ladies and their attendants removed to 
Valognes, where fine apartments were prepared for them. 

As soon as the Duke of Burgundy had advice of the Earl 
of Warwick's arrival in France, he immediately sent letters 
to the parliament to let them know he was informed that the 
king had favourably received and entertained the Earl of 
Warwick in some of his towns in Normandy, which was 
acting directly contrary to the treaty that was concluded at 
Peronne between his majesty and him ; and humbly desired 
the court of parliament that they would make the king sensi- 
ble of this infringement, and persuade him not to countenance 
the Earl of Warwick and his party, whom he had declared 
were enemies to the kingdom ; otherwise he should be obliged 
to seize upon his person wherever he found him, though it 
■was in the very heart of France ; however, the Earl of War- 
wick stayed at Honfleur till the latter end of June. In the 
meantime the king drew his forces out of several garrisons, 
and ordered them to march into Normandy and Picardy, 
where they ruined and destroyed all the flat country there- 
abouts. In the meantime the king still kept about Tours, 
Amboise, Vendome, and other places thereabouts, whither 
the Queen of England and her son the Prince of Wales, with 
several of the English nobility, came to wait upon the king ; 
and after a long conference with his majesty, the English 
returned to Honfleur, Valognes, St. Lo, and other places 
in Normandy. During these affairs, the Duke of Burgundy 
ordered all the effects belonging to the merchants of France, 
that were in his dominions, to be seized, till some restitution 
was made to the merchants of his country, from whom the 
English had taken several ships. 

On Saturday, the last of June, 1470, between two and 
three in the morning, the queen was brought to bed, at the 
castle of Amboise, of a prince, who was christened Charles 
by the Archbishop of Lyons ; the Prince of Wales, son to the 
late King of England, Henry VI., standing godfather, and 
the Duchess of Bourbon godmother. The birth of this prince 



2G2 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICr.fC. [1170. 

occasioned great joy at court, Te Deum was ordered to be 
sung at Paris, and bonfires and rejoicings were made in all 
the cities and towns in France. And soon after this the 
King of Sicily, the Duke of Guienne, the Duke of Bourhon, 
the Lords de Lyon and Beaujeu, and several others, were 
sent to Angers, Saumur, and other places thereabouts, to 
endeavour to accommodate matters between the king and the 
Duke of Bretagne, where they stayed some time before they 
could settle the point ; but, at last, the business was deter- 
mined to the satisfaction of both of them ; upon which the 
Duke of Bretagne sent his ambassadors to the Duke of Bur- 
gundy to deliver up the treaty of alliance that had been lately 
made between them ; and when they informed him of the 
Duke of Bretagne's reconciliation with the king, he seemed 
highly displeased and out of patience. In the meantime, 
while the Earl of Warwick (whom we mentioned before,) 
was making all the preparations imaginable in Normandy, 
to return to England, the Duke of Burgundy fitted out a great 
fleet, and having well victualled and manned it with English, 
Burgundians, Picardians, and seamen of other nations, he 
put to sea, and sailing round by the coast of Normandy, 
thought to fall in with the Earl of Warwick's squadron near 
Havre, and fight them ; but not finding them there, he 
dropped anchor, and waited in expectation of them, during 
which time the king left Amboise, and went a pilgrimage 
to Mount St. Michael ; and after he had performed his de- 
votions there, he returned by Orange, Granville, Cou- 
tances, Caen, Honfleur, and several other places on the 
coast of Normandy, where the Admiral of France put in to 
victual his fleet; on which the Earl of Warwick, the Duke 
of Clarence, and their whole retinue, went on board, together 
with a few archers and other soldiers that the king had 
ordered for the safety and defence of their persons. As soon 
as they were ready to set sail, the poor English, Burgundians, 
and Picardians, who had lain all this time in expectation of 
the Earl of Warwick's squadron, and had spent all their pro- 
vision, weighed anchor, and sailed home to their duke with 
hungry stomachs, without doing anything ; at which his 
highness laughed heartily, though he had no reason for it, 
having spent a great deal of time and money to no purpose. 
No sooner was the Burgundian fleet out of sight, but the 



1470.] THF- SCANDALOUS CHUuNICLE. 363 

Earl of Warwick, attended as you liave already heard, set 
sail, and, the wind serving, in a little time arrived on the 
coast of England, and landed in the night at Dartmouth or 
Plymouth ; and immediately upon his landing, he sent a 
party of his men ten miles up into the country, to seize upon 
a baron of the kingdom, who little dreamed of that descent, 
and was sleeping quietly in his bed; but they soon roused 
him, and giving him but just time to put on his clothes, hur- 
ried him away to the Earl of Warwick, who ordered him to be 
beheaded the next morning. After this he marched from Dart- 
mouth to a neighbouring town, where he was well received, 
and where he had left his artillery and heavy baggage when 
he escaped to Normandy. He had scarce been landed three 
days, and put what forces he had with him into a little order, 
when sixty thousand men in arms, came voluntarily to him, 
offering to venture their lives and fortunes in his service ; 
whereupon he immediately took the field, and marched di- 
rectly in search of King Edward, so that it was above a fort- 
night from the day of his landing before we could hear any 
news of liim in France. And then the king received certain 
advice that the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Clarence 
were in full march with a powerful army in search of King 
Edward, and that their affairs were in such a prosperous 
condition that all the nobility, gentry, clergy, and common- 
alty of England (but especially the people of London) had 
forsaken King Edward, and were come in to the Earl of 
Warwick, who had delivered King Henry VI. out of the 
Tower, where he had been long a prisoner, and reinstated 
him in the possession of his kingdom. Upon which the Earl 
of Warwick was made governor and protector of England 
under Henry VI., and immediately marched into the city of 
London, where the citizens feasted and entertained him nobly. 
After which he released all the French prisoners that were 
in England, and sent them home without any ransom, but 
seized upon all the effects belonging to the Duke of Bur- 
gundy's subjects. At last King Edward, finding himself 
abandoned and forsaken by all his subjects, left his queen 
in England, and went over to his brother-in-law, the Duke of 
Burgundy, with a very slender retinue, to solicit troops and 
money to recover his kingdom. 

Alter this the king wrote letters to Paris to acquaint them 



361 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [^Ttt 

that the Queen of England, wife to Henry VI., the Prince 
of Wales and his princess, daughter to the Earl of Warwick, 
the Countess of Warwick her mother, the Lady Wiltshire, 
and several other ladies of the English court, were coming 
to Paris, attended by the Counts D'Eu, De Vendome, De 
Dunois, Monsieur De Chastillon, and several other noblemen 
and persons of quality ; and that it was his Majesty's com- 
mand that the bishop, university, court of parliament, and 
the mayor and aldermen of Paris, in their robes and for- 
malities, should go out and meet them, and compliment the 
Queen of England in his name. 

Soon after this the Queen, the Duchess of Bourbon, the 
maids of honour, and several other ladies of the court, came 
along with his majesty to Paris, where they all stayed till 
the 26th, and then his majesty set out from thence for 
Senlis, Compiegne, and the neighbourhood of those places 
where the greatest part of his army that was to act against 
the Duke of Burgundy lay. 

He ordered a large train of artillery to be brought from 
Compiegne, Noyon, and elsewhere, both by sea and land, 
into Picardy and Flanders ; and published a proclamation by 
sound of trumpet in Paris, commanding all the nobility and 
Frank archers of the Isle of France to be ready in arms to 
follow him, and join the rest of the army. During this time 
great preparations were making at Paris, and a great quan- 
tity of cannon, ammunition, and provision were getting ready 
for the army. 

About this time all the handicraftsmen in Paris, such as 
masons, carpenters, joiners, and the like, were pressed by the 
king's orders; not excepting those belonging to the towns 
and cities that had lately surrendered to his majesty. The 
command of this body of workmen was given to M. Henry 
de la Cloche, the king's attorney in the Chastellet at Paris, 
who was a loyal subject, and was to lead them to the town 
of Roye, where they were to be employed in repairing the 
old fortifications, and in making new ones ; and when they 
had finished their work there, they were employed in doing 
the same in other towns that had lately submitted to the 
king, which took up a great deal of time, and kept them em- 
ployed till Easter Day, at which time the king made a truce 
tor a little while with the Duke of Burgundy, who was 



!470.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 365 

closely besieged in his camp between Bapaume and the city of 
Amiens by tbe king's army, and was reduced to so miserable 
a condition that had it not been for the truce, both he and his 
whole army must certainly have perished, or surrendered them 
selves prisoners at discretion. Since the beginning of the war, 
to the day the truce was agreed on, the king's army defeated 
the Burgundians and the Picardians in several smart engage- 
ments, and took a considerable booty from them in the 
duchy of Burgundy, not to mention their incursions 
into the countries of Charolois and Maconnois, where they 
enriched themselves by the plunder they got, and took a vast 
number of prisoners, amongst whom were several persons of 
quality, who paid handsomely for their enlargement, besides 
a greater number killed in several actions that happened 
between them. Some persons of quality on the king's side 
would have been prodigious gainers by this war, had not his 
majesty obliged them, upon the treaty, to deliver up all they 
had taken from the enemy; at which, abundance of the no- 
bility that had a great respect for the king were highly dis- 
pleased. During this cessation of arms, the king, the Duke 
of Guienne, and several other lords and men of quality went 
to Ham, and stayed there with the Constable of France, who 
was extermely proud of the honour his majesty did him. 
During the king's abode at Mam, several ambassadors arrived 
from the Duke of Burgundy, and as many were sent by the 
king to the Duke of Burgundy's camp ; but notwithstanding 
all their embassies forward and backward, it was a longtime 
before they came to any resolution. At last, a truce for one 
year only was agreed upon between the king and the Duke 
of Burgundy, and commissioners were chosen on both sides 
to accommodate the difference between them, and to ter- 
minate the dispute between the soldiers of each side. As 
soon as this affair was settled, every one retired to his own 
house, and the towns that had been taken before the treaty 
were garrisoned by the king's soldiers. 

About that time great quarrels and contests arose in 
England between Henry of Lancaster, King of England, 
the Prince of Wales his son, the Earl of Warwick, and the 
rest of the lords of the kingdom who were of King Henry's 
side, against Edward de la Marche, who had usurped the 
crown from Henry. This civil war had occasioned already 



'6fS T1»E SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1471, 

abundance of murder and bloodshed, and was not like to be 
at an end yet; for in June, 1471, the king received certain 
advice from England that Edward de la Marche, with a 
puissant army of English, Easterlings, Picardians, Flemings, 
and other nations that the Duke of Burgundy h;id sent him, 
had taken the field, and was going to oppose King Henry's 
forces, which were commanded by the Earl of Warwick, the 
Prince of Wales, and several other lords of that party. In 
Abort, the battle was bravely fought, and a vast number of 
men were killed and wounded on both sides ; but at last 
Edward de la Marche gained the victory, and King Henry's 
army, partly by the treachery of the Duke of Clarence, and 
partly for want of conduct, was entirely defeated. The poor 
young Prince of Wales, who was a lovely youth, was bar- 
barously murdered after the action was over ; and the 
valiant Earl of Warwick, finding himself betrayed, and scorn- 
ing to fly, rushed violently into the thickest of his enemies, 
and was killed upon the spot. Thus died this great man, 
who was so desirous of serving his king and country, and 
who had cost King Henry so much money to bring him over 
and fix him in his interest. 

In July, 1471, died the Count d'Eu, a person of great 
wisdom, honour, and probity, heartily devoted to the interest 
of his country, and one that faithfully served the king to the 
utmost of his power. Upon his death the king took posses- 
sion of the earldom of Eu, which he gave to the Constable of 
France, which was highly displeasing to his brother the 
Count de Nevers, who thought to have enjoyed that earldom, 
with the rest of his estate, after his brother's decease, as 
being his right and lawful heir. 

From this month of July to Christmas nothing of import- 
ance happened in the kingdom of France ; several confer- 
ences, indeed, there were in the mean time between the 
commissioners chosen on both sides to adjust the difference 
and dispute that were between the king and the Duke of 
Burgundy, in order to settle a firm and lasting peace. 

In the same year the Duke of Guienne, after bis return 
from Amiens, began to grow a little dissatisfied with the 
king, and sent for the Count d'Armagnac, whom the king 
bad banished the kingdom at the same time that he deprived 
him of his earldom. The count, immediately- upon thai 



1472.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 807 

summons, waited upon the Duke of Guienne, who gave him 
the greatest part of his earldom, against the king's consent 
and positive commands to the contrary. 

In May, the Duke of Calabria, nephew to the King of 
Sicily and Jerusalem, and to whom the king had offered his 
eldest daughter in marriage, left his duchy of Lorraine, 
and went in person to the Duke of Burgundy's court, to treat 
of a marriage with his daughter, which was very strangely 
and unaccountably done by him (after the honour which the 
king, who was his sovereign lord, had designed him) to 
think of marrying the Duke of Burgundy's daughter, who 
was only a subject and a vassal to the king. But before 
this the Duke of Burgundy had often made war in France 
in favour of the Duke of Guienne, pretending his design 
was to give him his daughter in marriage ; but he never 
intended it, and did quite the contrary, deluding him, as he 
had done several other lords, witli fair promises and hopes 
of that match. 

On Thursday, the 14th of May, 1472, the king received cer- 
tain advice from M. Malicorne, a great favourite of the Duke 
of Guienne, that his master was dead at Bordeaux. And 
immediately after M. de Craon, M. Peter Doriolle, general 
of the finances, M. Oliver le Roux, and the rest of the am- 
bassadors that were sent to the Duke of Burgundy, returned, 
and gave the king an account of their negotiation, and the 
truce which was prolonged till the 15th of June following. 
However, the Duke of Burgundy, notwithstanding the truce, 
took the field with his army, and fortified his old post 
between Arras and Bapaume, in a place called Hubuterne, 
in Artois. 

After this the Duke of Burgundy still continued to play 
his mad pranks, and went on in his old obstinate ways, as 
he had formerly done. On Tuesday, the 1 1th of June, 1472, 
he sent a great detachment of his forces to summon Nesle, 
in which there was one named Le Petit Picart, that com- 
manded five hundred Frank archers of the Isle of France, 
who refused to obey his summons, and sent him word that 
he would defend the town and castle to the last extremity ; 
upon which the Burgundians made several attacks-, but 
were always repulsed by Captain Picart and his garrison. 
The next day, abuut five in the morning, the Countess of 



368 THE SCANDAIOUS CHRONICLE. [1472. 

Nesle, attended by Captain Picart and the chief of the town, 
went out to wait on the Bastard of Burgundy, who com- 
manded that detachment, in order to capitulate and make 
some honourable terms for the garrison. At last the Bas- 
tard of Burgundy agreed to spare their lives, provided they 
would immediately surrender the town, and march out, 
leaving their arms, horses, bag, and baggage behind, to 
which they were forced to submit. Upon their return they 
acquainted the garrison with what hard terms they must 
submit to ; and accordingly Captain Picart, having drawn up 
his men in a body in the market-place, commanded them to 
dismount and lay down their arms, and imprudently delivered 
up the town to the Burgundians before the articles of capi- 
tulation were signed. No sooner were the Burgundians 
masters of the town but they immediately fell upon the 
garrison, who were naked and unarmed, and killed several 
of them, not sparing even those that fled to the churches for 
protection, without any manner of regard to the promise 
they had made them to spare their lives. Towards the latter 
end of this barbarous and inhuman action the Bastard of 
Burgundy entered the church on horseback, which swam in 
blood ; and when he beheld the pavement all strewed with 
the dead bodies of these poor wretches, he said it was a glo- 
rious sight, and was pleased to find he had such good butchers 
in his company. Neither did his thirst of blood and ven- 
geance cease here, for the next day he ordered the captain to 
be hanged, and the town to be set on fire. After this glorious 
expedition they marched the next day, which was Sunday, 
to Roye, in which there was a strong garrison, consisting of 
one thousand four hundred archers, commanded by Peter 
Aubert, bailiff of Melun and Nugon. Besides these forces, 
there were several volunteers and captains of the army, and 
amongst the rest Loisel de Balagny, governor of Beauvais, 
M. de Mouy, the Lord de Rubempre, and several others, 
who had with them about two hundred lances well armed 
and mounted. However, the king had just before caused 
the old fortifications of the. town to be repaired, and new 
ones to be made, which had added considerable strength to 
the place, and had provided it with everything necessary for 
b long defence ; yet they surrendered the town on the 16th 
ot' May, to the Burgundians, and marched shamefully out, 



1472.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 36& 

leaving their cannon, horses, arms, bag and baggage behind 
them, after the king had been at the expense of one hundred 
thousand crowns of gold in erecting magazines, and putting 
it into a posture of defence. After the Duke of Burgundy 
had turned out the king's garrison in this naked and miser- 
able condition, he took possession of the town, and after 
some stay there he came before Beauvais, which he likewise 
summoned, and upon their refusing to surrender, he resolved 
to besiege it ; and immediately upon his arrival, which was 
on Saturday the 27th of June, 1472, he commanded his 
soldiers to storm it on every side, but they were bravely 
repulsed by the inhabitants of the same place. The very 
same night William de Valce, the Seneschal of Normandy's 
lieutenant, came to their relief with a reinforcement of two 
hundred lances, just as the Burgundians were going to make 
a vigorous attack, upon which they mounted the walls, and 
repulsed the Burgundians, who little expected so warm a 
reception. The next day, M. de Crussol, Joachim Rouault, 
Marshal of France, M. de Bueil, Guerin le Groing, M. de 
Torcy, and several other noblemen of Normandy, with a 
strong detachment, arrived there also, who behaved them- 
selves handsomely during the whole siege, and gave signal 
marks of their courage and conduct. The Parisians were 
serviceable also to the besieged, and constantly supplied 
them with ammunition and provision ; and during the siege 
several warm disputes and bloody actions happened between 
the Burgundians and the king's troops, in which several of 
the former were killed and wounded. 

On Thursday, the 2nd of July, the Lord de Rubempre" 
arrived at Paris from Beauvais and brought letters from the 
governor of that place directed to M. Gaucourt, the king's 
lieutenant in Paris, and to the mayor and aldermen, in which 
he acquainted them with the miserable condition that the 
Duke of Burgundy and his whole army were reduced to, 
that a halfpenny loaf was sold for threepence in their camp, 
that the Duke of Burgundy himself was grown desperate, 
and was resolved to have the town though with the loss and 
ruin of his whole army, and therefore begged of them that 
they would immediately send him some of their field-pieces, 
a body of their cross-bow men, and a supply of provision 
and ammunition, which were accordingly sent him under a 

VOL. IL H B 



£70 TFIE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1472. 

guard of sixty cross-bow men of Paris, commanded by the 
bastard Rochechouart, Lord of Meru. And on Thursday, thfe 
9th of July, about seven in the morning, the Duke of Bur- 
gundy bejian to batter the town wall over against the gate 
of the Hotel Dieu with all his great and small cannon ; 
and having made a breach, ordered his men to fill up the 
ditch with fascines, timber, and hurdles., and to be ready with 
their scaling-ladders ; which orders were instantly performed, 
and a party of Burgundians came with great boldness and 
resolution, and furiously attacked that part of the wall that 
was opposite to the Hotel Dieu, but they were warmly 
received and repulsed by M. Robert Destouteville, lord of 
Beyne and mayor of Paris, who was posted there with some 
of the king's troops. This attack lasted from seven in the 
morning till eleven, during which action the Burgundians 
had fifteen or sixteen hundred men killed and wounded; and 
the number would have been greater, and their loss more 
considerable, had not all the gates facing the Burgundian 
army been so strongly barricadoed, that in the hurry and 
confusion of storming the town they could not get them open 
to make a sally and fall upon the enemy at the same time ; 
at which all the noblemen and officers were extremely con- 
cerned, for if they could have come handsomely to have 
engaged them, they would certainly have made a terrible 
slaughter among them, for at that time the garrison consisted 
of fourteen or fifteen thousand men, commanded by the 
Count de Dammartin, Joachim Rouault, marshal of France, 
Sallazart, William de Valce, Mery de Coue, Guerin le 
Groing, the Lords de Beyne and Torcy, and several other 
experienced officers of note and quality. During the whole 
action the besieged lost but four men, and that through their 
own rashness, as the report goes; neither did the Burgun- 
dians, from their first investing the town to the 9th of July, 
kill any more than four soldiers with their cannon, notwith- 
standing their constant firing from their batteries. The 
next day after the attack, M. Denis Hesselin, mayor of 
Paris, sent another body of cross-bow men to Beauvais with 
arms, ammunition, provision, and some surgeons to dre6S 
and take care of the sick and wounded. 

On Friday, the 10th of July, which was the next day 
after the attack, Sallazart, with a brigade of his own re*- 



1472.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 371 

giment, sallied out of Beauvais, and by break of day got 
into the Burgundian camp, where they killed all tliey met 
with, and burnt three fine tents with all that was in them, 
in one of which there were two men of quality killed, that 
offered a vast sum of money to save their lives. At last the 
whole camp took the alarm, and his soldiers shouting out, 
" A Sallazart, a Sallazart," made the Bnrgundians imme- 
diately run to their arms, and in a moment's time they were 
ready with a considerable body to oppose him ; upon which 
Sallazart thought fit to retire, which he did in very good order, 
and brought with him to Beauvais two pieces of cannon, 
one of which was a fine brass cannon, named one of the 
twelve peers, that the king lost at the battle of Mont 1'IIery, 
and the rest that they could not bring off, they flung into a 
ditch by the way. Sallazart was closely pursued, and re- 
ceived several wounds : his horse was also wounded in se- 
veral places of the body ; however he made a shift to carry 
him to Beauvais, where he dropt down dead immediately 
upon arriving there. From that sally to the 21st of July, no 
great action happened on either side. 

On Wednesday, the feast of St. Magdalen, the Duke of 
Burgundy shamefully raised the siege of Beauvais, after 
having lain twenty days before it, and bombarded it night 
and day, without doing any considerable damage to the 
town, or killing many men. Twice in that time, indeed, he 
attempted to storm the place, but was as often repulsed, and 
in both actions lost a considerable number of men ; amongst 
the rest, several persons of note and distinction. In his 
retreat he lost the greatest part of his artillery, which the 
garrison of Amiens, who fell upon his rear, took from him. 
The Duke of Burgundy, being disappointed in his design of 
taking Beauvais, grew desperate, and commanded his army 
to burn the standing corn, and to destroy and set on fire all 
the towns and villages through which they marched in their 
way to St. Valery near Crotoy, which was immediately sur- 
rendered to him, there being but a small garrison in it, and 
the place itseP' not being capable of making a long defence 
against such a powerful army. From thence they marched 
to Eu, which was also surrendered to him on the same ac- 
count. On Wednesday, the 29th of July, the Constable of 
France, with several other officers of the garrison of Beau* 

B B 2 



372 THE SCANHALOUS CHRONICLE. [1472. 

vats, marched out with eight hundred lances, and took the 
route towards Arques and Monstiervillier, in the county of 
Caux, to intercept the Burgundians, who, it was believed, 
would march that way ; and so they did, and encamped 
between that place, Eu, and Dieppe, near a village called 
Ferriers, where they lay a long time without doing anything, 
except taking the new castle of Nicourt, which made no 
resistance. After staying there three days, and upon their 
retreat, they set fire to the town and castle, which was a 
thousand pities, for it was a fine town and castle, and 
capable of being made a place of great strength. After 
this the Duke of Burgundy set fire to Longueville, Fahy, 
and several other towns and villages in the bailiwick of 
Caux ; and all the mighty actions his army performed from 
their raising the siege of Beauvais, to the 1st of Decem- 
ber, 1472, was only burning and destroying wherever they 
came. In the meantime, the king, who was in Bretagne, 
with an army of fifty thousand men, lay still and did no- 
thing, being wheedled and cajoled by the smooth words 
and fair promises of the Duke of Burgundy's ambassadors, 
who still flattered him with the hopes of peace; besides, 
his majesty was tender of the lives of his subjects, and was 
willing, on any reasonable terms, to prevent the effusion 
of Christian blood, not delighting in war and slaughter, as 
the Duke of Burgundy did, who had already given a sufficient 
demonstration of his bloody and revengeful temper, by the 
many cruel and inhuman actions he had committed, and the 
barbarities he was daily guilty of. After the Duke of Bur- 
gundy was returned from Caux, where he had burnt and 
destroyed everything, as you have already heard, and had 
been vigorously repulsed before Arques and Dieppe, he 
broke up from that country and marched to Rouen, where he 
met with a warmer reception than he had hitherto found 
before any town he had already besieged ; so that after some 
time spent in vain, and a great number of his men being 
killed and wounded by frequent sallies, he was at last forced 
to abandon the siege, and shamefully march off towards 
Abbeville ; upon which there was a report that he designed 
to form the siege of Noyon, whereupon the Lord de Crussol 
and several others of tbe king's officers were immediately 
eant thither with a good body of troops to garrison the town, 



,J*T2."J THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 372 

who ordered some new works to be thrown up, on which 
they planted a fine train of artillery and supplied it with 
ammunition, provision, and whatever else was necessary for 
putting the place in a good posture of defence. But after 
all these preparations, the Burgundians never invested the 
town ; however it suffered considerably on their account, for 
the officers were obliged to burn down the suburbs to hinder 
them from making a lodgment there. 

About this time there was a report that the Burgun- 
dians were marching towards Lorraine and Barrois, upon 
which the king sent a detachment of five hundred lances, 
with all the nobles of the Isle of France and Normandy, be- 
sides a great number of Frank archers under the command 
of M. de Craon, his lieutenant-general, which were quartered 
in several towns in Champagne, where they lay above two 
months, and then marched back without doing anything. 

In the meantime the Duke of Burgundy prevailed with 
the. Emperor of Germany to go as far as Luxembourg, and 
from thence to the City of Metz, to persuade the inha- 
bitants to admit a Burgundian garrison ; but his imperial 
majesty, finding them utterly averse to it. returned to Lux- 
embourg, and from thence to Germany. 

About the same time, the Duke of Burgundy sent an 
agent to Venice to borrow money of the Venetians to pay 
the six hundred lances belonging to that state, which he 
had agreed to take into his service for three months. They 
were forced to march through the Duchy of Milan, and 
from thence to Upper Burgundy, being too weak to engage 
the king's army, which was posted on the frontiers of 
Burgundy, and hindered them from joining the Duke of 
Burgundy's forces any other way. 

At the same time, the king married his eldest daughter, 
Anne of France, who was offered to the late Duke of Cala- 
bria, to M. de Beaujeu, the Duke of Bourbon's brother. 

About this time, the Duke of Burgundy, partly by treason, 
and partly by surprise, entered Nivernois, where he took 
several places from the Duke of Nevers, as Roche, Chas- 
tillon, &c. At that time also the king's ambassadors that 
bad been assembled before at Senlis, met together at Com- 
piegne in hopes of finding the Duke of Burgundy's ambas- 
sadors there according to their appointment, but they did 

B 11 3 



37 V TIIIC SCANDALOUS CnRONlCT.E. [1474. 

not come ; so that after a long stay there to no purpose, the 
king's ambassadors returned to Paris ; afterwards they went 
back again to Compiegne in January, and stayed there till 
the 5th of that month. 

About the 20th of January, 1473, the Constable of France, 
who had turned the Lord de Creton and the whole garrison 
out of St. Quentin, and taken possession of it for himself, 
made his peace with the king, and his majesty was very 
well reconciled to him ; and by the agreement that wa.i 
concluded between them, the constable was to remain in 
St. Quentin, and to have Meaux and several other places 
that the king had taken from him, restored again ; com- 
missioners were likewise appointed by the king's order to 
inquire after those persons that had spoken reflcctingly of 
the Constable concerning the seizure of St. Quentin, in 
order to have them severely punished; he had also a great 
sum of money remitted for the payment of his troops, which 
had been stopped immediately after the taking of St. Quentin. 
About this time the king came from Amboise to Senlis, and 
stayed some time in that neighbourhood ; during which, the 
king's ambassadors and those of the Duke of Burgundy 
held several conferences, and at last a truce was agreed 
upon till the middle of May, in hopes that matters might be 
so ordered in that time, as to have a firm and lasting peace 
concluded between their two masters. 

On Wednesday the 20th of April, 1474, the king ordered 
all the officers, citizens, and inhabitants of Paris to be re- 
viewed ; which was accordingly done, and they were all in 
arms, and drawn up in order without the gates of Paris, 
from the Bastille St. Antoine all along the town-ditch as 
far as the Tower of Billy, and from thence to the Grange- 
aux-Merciers. On the other side also they were drawn up 
in the same order of battle, and made a gallant appearance 
in their red coats with white crosses, and were computed to 
be in all about eighty thdusand men, including those that 
belonged to the train of artillery, of which there was a great 
Store brought out into the field that day. The king, at- 
tended by the Count de Dammartin (who made a great 
Igure that day), Philip de Savoy, M. du Perche, Sallazart, 
and several other general officers of the army, with all his 
guards, was at the review. The King of Arragon's -un- 



1475 ] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 373 

bassadors were also there to wait upon his majesty ; and 
were extremely surprised to see one city produce such a 
vast numher of men in arms. After the review was over, the 
king went to the Bois de Vincennes to supper, and took the 
ambassadors along with him ; and some time after presented 
the two chief ones with two gold cups richly embossed, that 
weighed forty marks of gold, and cost three thousand two 
hundred crowns, and after that his majesty returned to 
Senlis, where he stayed some time ; during which he received 
two embassies, one from the Duke of Bretagne, and the 
other from the Emperor of Germany. The chief ambas- 
sador of the last embassy was the Duke of Bavaria, and the 
chief of the first was Philip des Essars, Lord of Thieux, the 
Duke of Bretagne's steward of his household, who had for- 
merly declared himself against the king; however, his 
majesty, laying aside all animosities, received him very 
kindly, gave him a present of ten thousand crowns, and 
made him inquisitor-general and justice in eyre of Brie 
and Champagne, turning M. de Chastillon out of that post 
on purpose to oblige the said Philip des Essars. 

About the same time of the king's being at Senlis, Erme- 
nonville, and thereabouts, the Duke of Burgundy sent his 
ambassadors to wait on his majesty, who stayed there a great 
while, but did nothing; and presently afterwards the king 
went to Compiegne, Noyon, and several other places in that 
neighbourhood, where the Constable of France came to wait 
on the king, in order to adjust some difference that was be- 
tween them. The king and he had an interview in the 
open field near a certain village thereabouts, and both were 
attended by a strong guard for the security of their persons. 
The Constable of France having thus made his peace with 
the king, who generously forgave and pardoned all his re- 
bellious actions, solemnly swore never to be guilty of the 
like for the future, but henceforward to obey and serve the 
king, as a loyal and dutiful subject ought to do, against all 
invaders and opposers whatsoever. 

About this time, the king, who had a singular love for his 
people, and was willing to prevent the effusion of Christian 
blood, prolonged the truce with the Duke of Burgundy, his 
mortal enemy, for another year, and in April 147-5, though 
he had received several embassies from the Emperor of 

B B 4 



376 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1475. 

Germany, humbly to intreat his majesty not to make any 
longer truce with him, but that he would give him leave to 
enter his territories by force of arms, and make him submit 
to' what terms his majesty should offer; promising, more- 
over, that whatever conquests or acquisitions he should 
make in any of the Duke of Burgundy's dominions, should 
be made over to the king, without putting him to the expense 
of either men or money. But notwithstanding all these ad- 
vantageous offers, a truce was concluded between the king 
and the Duke of Burgundy, who immediately broke it, and 
committed several acts of hostility, ruining and destroying 
abundance of the king's subjects living in those countries 
that bordered upon his dominions, for which he never made 
any reparation, and which was looked upon to be a base and 
audacious action for a vassal thus to ruin the countries and 
subjects of his sovereign lord and master. 

About this time the Duke of Burgundy (whose restless 
ambition would not suffer him to sit still), had invaded some 
part of Germany, and besieged Nuz, a large and strong 
town, situated upon the Rhine, near Cologne, before which 
place he lay a considerable time with his whole army, and 
all his artillery. Not long after this the Burgundians sur- 
prised a town in Gastinois called Molins Engelbert, whither 
his majesty sent also another body of forces with some 
cannon, in order to retake it. In short, the Duke of Bur- 
gundy and his allies (notwithstanding the truce), still con- 
tinued to make incursions into the king's dominions, to seize 
his towns whenever they had an opportunity, and to ruin 
and destroy his subjects. 

About this time Edward IV., King of England, sent his 
heralds to the king, to demand the duchies of Guienne and 
Normandy, which he claimed as his lawful right, and upon 
refusal, to declare war against him. The king returned a 
very civil answ r er by the heralds, and also sent King Edward 
the finest horse he had in his stable, as a present. 

In February following, the Germans who were besieged 
in Nuz, by the assistance of the inhabitants of Cologne, and 
some other Germans of the circle of Austria, found out a 
way to throw some provisions into the town in spite of the 
Duke of Burgundy, who kept it closely besieged, and had 
caused several large vessels well manned to come up the 



1475. J THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 377 

Rhine, in order to intercept the convoy, but to no purpose, 
for it safely arrived in the town, and all his ships (in which 
were about six or seven thousand Burgundians, who were 
all drowned), were sunk or split in pieces, and besides those 
a vast number of them had already been killed before Nuz. 

About the same time the city of Perpignan was surren- 
dered to the king, oa condition that the garrison should 
march out with their arms, horses, bag and baggage, leaving 
only their artillery, of which they had a very fine train, for 
the king's use. 

On the 7th of April, 14-75, the league that had been lately 
concluded between the emperor and the king was published 
in Paris, but first of all the king ordered it to be proclaimed 
before the lodgings of M. du Maine, the Duke of Calabria, 
and the Duke of Bretagne's ambassadors. In the same 
month the king received two embassies, one from the Duke 
of Tuscany, and the other from the Emperor of Germany, 
and the ambassadors were nobly treated and entertained not 
only by the king, but by all the nobility of the court. In 
the beginning of May the king, attended by the Admiral of 
France, and the other officers of the kingdom, set out from 
Paris for Vernon on the Seine, whither his majesty went to 
consult about the military operations of the ensuing campaign, 
the truce being expired on the last day of April, and from 
whence he returned to Paris on the 14th of the snme month. 

On the feast of the Holy Cross the king's army invested 
Montdidier, which had also refused to surrender upon the 
summons, but afterwards they considered better of it, and 
finding the king's forces were actually preparing to storm 
the town, on Friday the 5th of April, they beat the chamade, 
and offered to surrender, provided they might march out, 
and be safely conducted to the next garrison town belonging 
to the Duke of Burgundy, which was granted on condition 
of leaving their horses, arms, bag and baggage behind them; 
so the king's troops immediately took possession of the town, 
which tliey afterwards demolished, as they did Tronquoy. 

On Saturday the 6th of May, the town of Roye and the 
castle of Moreul w r as surrendered to the king upon the same 
terms. The taking of these towns in so short a time by the 
king's army struek such a terror into the Duke of Bur- 
gundy's subjects, that they either tied before it, or eb.e oauie 



3 ~ y THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1475. 

in and joined it ; so that the king's army being daily aug- 
mented by the Burgundian troops that came over to them, 
all the cities and towns in Burgundy, Flanders, andPicardy, 
were soon reduced to the king's obedience. 

In July, notwithstanding the news that the Constable of 
France had written to the king, his majesty received advice 
from the emperor, that he had thrown a fresh supply of 
troops into Nuz, had taken out all the sick and wounded, 
and provided the town with provisions and all other neces- 
saries for a year longer, and that some action had happened 
between his forces and the Duke of Burgundy's, in which the 
latter had lost great part of his artillery, plate and money, 
which was sent to pay Ids army. On Tuesday the 27th of 
June, the Admiral of France, whom the king ordered to 
march with a body of men into Flanders and Picardy to 
plunder and destroy the countries with fire and sword, drew 
near Arras, and having placed his men in an ambuscade, he 
ordered forty men at arms to advance towards the city gates, 
upon which part of the garrison of Arras immediately sallied 
out and attacked them, who according to their orders retired 
to the place where the rest of their detachment lay in ambush, 
who all on a sudden fell so furiously upon the Burgundians, 
that they entirely broke and defeaded them, several of whom 
were killed, and abundance taken prisoners, and among the 
latter M. James de St. Paul, Governor of Arras, and several 
other persons of note and distinction, whom the Admiral of 
France carried with him when he went to summon the city, 
and told the inhabitants, that if they would not instantly 
surrender the town to the king, who was their lawful so- 
vereign, he would certainly behead their governor and the 
rest of the men of quality he had taken prisoners. 

On Tuesday the 29th of August the king, attended by the 
Duke of Bourbon, M. de Lyon, and several other persons of 
quality, besides a vast number of officers of the army, con- 
sisting of one hundred thousand horse, marched from Amiens 
to Picquigny, which was the place that had been appointed 
for the interview between his majesty and Edward IV. King 
of England, who had brought with him his vanguard and his 
rear, which were drawn up in order of battle near Picquigny. 
Upon Picquigny bridge, the king had ordered two large 
pent-houses tc be erected opposite to each other, one for him- 



1475.] TH1C SCANDALOUS CHBONTCLK. 379 

self, and the otlier for the King of England. In the middle 
between these two pent-houses was built a large wooden 
grate somewhat like a lion's cage, about breast high, so that 
the two kin^s might lean over it, and discourse together. 
The King of France came first to the grate, upon which an 
English baron, whom King Edward had commanded to wait 
there for his majesty's arrival, was despatched in all haste to 
acquaint King Edward with it, who lay strongly encamped 
with twenty thousand English at a place about a league from 
Picquigny, and who came attended only by twenty men at 
arms of his guards, who were ordered to stay on the other 
side of the river at the foot of the bridge during the whole 
conference between the two kings. In the mean time it fell 
a raining prodigiously, which did a considerable damage to 
the housings and furniture that the nobility and officers of 
the French court had prepared on purpose for this interview, 
and which were rich and magnificent. As soon as the King 
of England came within sight of the king, he threw himself 
upon one knee, and so he did twice before he came up and 
saluted his majesty, who received him with all the marks of 
honour and respect imaginable. After some compliments 
had passed between them, they began to discourse about the 
affair for which this interview was appointed, in the presence 
of above one hundred persons, among whom were the Duke 
of Bourbon, M. de Lyon, several other lords, and all the chief 
officers of the finances. After they had talked together for 
about a quarter of an hour, the king ordered every one to 
withdraw, and the two kings had a private conference, which 
lasted a considerable time, and when it was over, the king 
openly declared that there was a truce concluded between 
them for seven years, which was to begin from this day the 
29thof August, 1475, and end on the same day in 1482. This 
truce, which was soon after proclaimed in Paris, and all other 
cities and towns of the kingdom, related chiefly to trade and 
commerce; and by this treaty the English, whether armed 
or unarmed, provided they were not more than one hundred 
in one company, were permitted to go and come when and 
where they pleased all over the kingdom of France. As soon 
as this affair was concluded, the king ordered seventy-five 
thousand crowns to be remitted to King Edward, made con- 
siderable presents to some of the lords that attended on him, 



380 THE 8CANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1475. 

and ordered money to be given and distributed among his 
trumpets and heralds, who highly extolled the bounty and 
generosity of the king. The King of France besides all this 
promised King Edward to pay him fifty thousand crowns of 
gold yearly, and nobly entertained the Duke of Gloucester, 
the King of England's brother, to whom he also made consi- 
derable presents. King Edward immediately ordered all the 
English that he had sent to reinforce the garrisons of Abbe- 
ville, Peronne, and other towns in the Duke of Burgundy's 
possessions, to evacuate those places, and join the army, with 
which he marched back to Calais, where he embarked for 
England. M. Herberge the Bishop of Evreux waited on 
King Edward as far as Calais, where he left two English 
barons till he had sent the king something out of England 
that he had promised him. The Lord Howard was one of 
these barons that were left as pledges for performance of 
King Edward's promise, and the Master of the Horse to the 
king was the other ; they were both of them highly valued 
and esteemed by the King of England, and were very instru- 
mental in concluding the late treaty between the two kings. 
When the English barons took their leave of the king, his 
majesty presented them with a set of gold and silver plate, 
and sent an order to Paris to let them have what quantity of 
wine they pleased to carry over with them into England, pro- 
vided they paid for it. 

On Monday the 16th of October 1475, the truce in relation 
to trade and commerce that had been concluded for nine years 
between the king and the Duke of Burgundy, was solemnly 
proclaimed by sound of trumpet in all the public streets of 
Paris, and it was to commence on the 14th of September 
1475, and to end on the same day of the month in 1484. By 
this treaty all the subjects of Burgundy were to have full 
liberty of trading in any part of France, and during the term 
of nine years to settle and live there if they pleased. 

The Duke of Burgundy having promised by his ambassa- 
dors in October last, when the truce was concluded between 
him and the king for nine years, to deliver up the Constable 
of France to his majesty, was now forced, much against his 
inclinations, to do it, and he was accordingly delivered up 
into the hands of the Admiral of France, M. de Bouchage, 
M. William de Cerisay, and several others, who brought 



1476.] THE SCANDALOUS CI1RON :CLE. 381 

him to Paris, where he was afterwards beheaded on Tuesday 
the 19th of Decemher, 1475, and his goods confiscated to 
the king. 

After the Constable of France's death, it plainly appeared 
that he had been guilty of several notorious crimes, and the 
whole course of his villanous and treasonable practices were 
openly declared in parliament, and all his underhand dealings 
and correspondence with the Duke of Burgundy were fully 
discovered. Tlxm we perfectly knew the whole mystery of 
that affair, and how the Duke of Burgundy and he had often 
endeavoured to corrupt and debauch the Duke of Bourbon's 
principles, and draw him over to tiieir party, and that at 
last, after many fruitless attempts, how he despatched a 
subtle agent of his named Hector de l'Ecluse to the Duke of 
Bourbon, to acquaint him that the English had a design to 
invade France, and that if he would join with them and the 
Duke of Burgundy, he questioned not but to conquer the 
whole kingdom, and that a great part of it should be an- 
nexed to his territories as a reward for his assistance. This 
was the master-piece of his villany and treason : but it 
seems the Duke of Bourbon had too much honour to hearken 
to such proposals, and told the said Hector de l'Ecluse that he 
would have no hand in it, and that he had rather be reduced 
to beggary, than ever consent to the ruin of either the king 
or kingdom. 

In February, 1476, the king, who was at Tours or Am- 
boise, set out from thence for Bourbonnois and Auvergne, 
from whence he went to Notre Dame de Puy to perform his 
devotions, and afterwards into Lionnois and Dauphiny. 
While the king was at Notre Dame de Puy he received an 
express that brought him the news of the defeat of the Duke 
of Burgundy's army by the Swiss, as he was endeavouring 
to penetrate into Switzerland, which happened after the fol- 
lowing manner. After the taking of Granson the Duke of 
Burgundy marched with his army along the lake of Verdun 
towards Friburg, and by the way took two small castles 
situated upon the mountains, just at the entrance of them ; 
but the Swiss, who had intelligence of his approach, and 
were also informed of his taking Granson, marched towards 
him ; and on Friday the first of March, towards night, they 
arrived at the two above-mentioned castles, which they im- 



S£2 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1476 

mediately invested after such a manner as to prevent the 
garrisons from making any sallies, and placed about 6000 
men with fire-arms in a little copse between the two castles 
near the place where the Duke of Burgundy lay encamped 
with his whole army. The next day very early in the 
morning, as the Duke of Burgundy was marching forward 
with all his artillery, bag and baggage, this body of Swiss, 
upon a signal given them, started out of the ambush where 
they had lain all night, and all on a sudden made so terrible 
a fire with their small arms upon most of the Burgundian 
vanguard, as killed most of the chief officers, and entirely 
broke and dispersed them ; and notwithstanding the Duke 
of Burgundy did all he could to rally his men, and make 
them face the enemy once more, their consternation was so 
great, that he could not bring them up to stand a second 
charge; and the Swiss being animated by this success, and 
eager to improve the advantage they had gained over the 
enemy, as soon as they had discharged their muskets, fell on, 
sword in hand, and entirely routed the whole army. At 
last, the Duke of Burgundy finding the battle was lost, and 
that he was in danger of being taken prisoner, in great 
agony and confusion mounted his horse, and being attended 
by only four officers of his army, made his escape to Joigny, 
which was sixteen French leagues from the place where 
this defeat happened. In this action, which happened on 
Saturday the 2nd of March, 1476, the Duke of Burgundy 
lost the greatest part of the chief officers and men of quality 
of his army, besides all his artillery, bag and baggage. The 
Swiss also retook both the castles, and hung up all the 
Burgundians they found in them. Afterwards they retook 
the town and castle of Granson, and ordered the Germans 
to the number of 512, that the Burgundians had hanged 
to be cut down, and so many of the Burgundians that 
were in Granson to be hanged up in the same halters. 

In May, 1476, the Duke of Burgundy, notwithstanding 
his defeat near Granson, was resolved still to push on the 
war against the Germans, and to besiege Strasbourg, but 
not being in a condition to do it without a fresh supply of 
men and money, he sent M. William Hugonet and twelve 
other deputies into his own dominions to acquaint his sub- 
jects, that though he had been defeated by the Swiss, yet he 



1476.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. J*8g 

was resolved to be revenged on tliem, and to push on the 
war with greater vigour ; and therefore, being unable to do 
it without a great supply of men and money, he commanded 
all his subjects by these deputies of Ghent, Bruges, Brussels, 
and other towns in Flanders, to exert themselves upon this 
occasion, and give him the sixth part of their estates, and 
such a number of men as he should demand. And in order 
to prevail with them to consent to his demands, lie bid the 
deputies tell them that the Germans were got between him 
and home, and that without a fresh supply of forces he could 
not return into his own dominions. To which remonstrance 
the inhabitants of the above-mentioned towns made answer, 
that they were resolved to grant no more supplies of either 
men or money to carry on the war, but that if the German 
army was too strong for him, and hindered him from coming 
home, they would venture their lives and all they were 
wortli to bring him safely into his own dominions. 

In the mean time the king stayed at Lyons feasting and 
enjoying himself, where the King of Sicily his uncle came to 
wait on him, whom his majesty entertained very nobly, 
showed the diversions of the fair that was kept in that city, 
and gave several balls and entertainments, to which the 
handsomest ladies of Lyons were always invited ou purpose 
to divert and entertain him. 

Some time after this, the king, who was at Lyons, and had 
great part of his army with him, received advice that the 
Duke of Lorraine, in conjunction with the Swiss and Ger- 
mans, besides a good body of Lorrainers, were in motion to 
oppose the Duke of Burgundy, who had rashly and impru- 
dently penetrated into Switzerland, and with his whole 
army was set down before a little town in that country 
named Morat. And on Saturday, the 22nd of June 1476, 
between ten and eleven in the morning, the Duke of Lorraine 
at the head of all those forces we have already mentioned, 
attacked the Duke of Burgundy, and at the first charge en- 
tirely broke and defeated his vanguard, which consisted of 
twelve thousand men, and the slaughter and confusion was 
60 very great, that the Count de Romont who commanded 
them had much ado to make his escape. After this defeat 
the garrison of Morat joined the Duke of Lorraine's army, 
which forced the Duke of Burgundy's entrenchments, where 



384 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1476, 

they gave no quarter, but killed all they found in them, so 
that the Duke of Burgundy was at last forced to retire with 
the remains of his broken army that had saved themselves 
by flight; nay, he himself fled as far as Joigny, which was 
sixteen French leagues from the field of battle, and in this 
action he lost all his artillery, plate, money, jewels, tents, 
pavilions, and in short, every thing of value that was in the 
camp. As soon as the battle was over, the Germans and 
Swiss returned the Duke of Lorraine many thanks for his 
care and conduct in the action, and in consideration of the 
great services he had done them, they presented him with all 
the Duke of Burgundy's artillery to make him amends for 
what he lost at Nancy, when the Duke of Burgundy by 
force of arms sacked that town, and carried away all the 
cannon that he found in it. The heralds that were ap- 
pointed to take an account of the slain, reported that there 
were twenty-two thousand five hundred Burgundians killed 
on the spot, besides a vast number in the rout, for the Duke 
of Lorraine's army pursued them as far as Joigny, and after- 
wards burnt and destroyed the whole earldom of Romont in 
Savoy, putting all to the sword they could meet with, with- 
out any distinction of age or sex. 

After this the Duke of Lorraine marched to Strasbourg, 
and from thence with a body of four thousand men detached 
from the grand army, went and besieged Nancy, in which 
there was a garrison of one thousand two hundred Burgun- 
dians, and after he had given some directions to the officer 
that commanded a body of troops under him, he returned to 
Strasbourg again, from whence he sent several convoys of 
provision and ammunition, and afterwards set out himself 
for the camp before Nancy, to command at the siege of that 
place in person. 

After the Duke of Burgundy's defeat at Morat, and the 
besieging of Nancy, the town was surrendered to the Duke 
of Lorraine, on condition that the garrison (who were all 
Burgundians) should march out with bag and baggage, and 
the usual marks of honour, which was granted them ; and as 
soon as the Duke of Lorraine was master of it, he immediately 
put a strong garrison of his own troops in it, and provided 
it with ammunition, provision, and all things necessary for a 
long defence ; and it was well he acted so prudently, for 



1477.] 



THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 385 



ecarce had he been a month in possession of the town, when 
the Duke of Burgundy, who was retired to Riviere, a town 
near Salins in Burgundy, with what forces he could raise, 
came and besieged it again, upon which the Duke of Lorraine 
marched into Switzerland to solicit more troops, in order to 
relieve the garrison, and raise the siege of Nancy. 

After this, the King of Portugal, who laid claim to th© 
kingdom of Castile, and, in short, to all Spain, in right of his 
queen, left his kingdom and came to the frontiers of France, 
and from thence to Tours to visit the king ; and to desire 
his majesty to assist him with some troops to recover those 
kingdoms. He was received by the king with all the marks 
of honour and respect imaginable, and during his stay at 
Tours, he was nobly treated and entertained by the king 
and several of the nobility of the court. 

In the mean time the Duke of Burgundy, who, as you 
have already been informed, had besieged Nancy in Lorraine, 
put the garrison to such great straits and necessities, that 
for want of provision they were forced to capitulate, and 
surrender the town upon articles. And on Sunday the 5th 
of January, the Duke of Lorraine arrived with an army of 
twelve or fourteen thousand Swiss and Germans, in order 
to raise the siege of Nancy, and fight the Duke of Burgundy. 
On Saturday the 4th of January, the Duke of Lorraine ar- 
rived with an army of ten thousand Swiss, besides Germans 
and Lorrainers at St. Nicholas de Varengeville. 

On the Sunday following, the Lords of Switzerland and 
Lorraine marched from thence to Neufville, and a little 
beyond that place they halted some time, to consider how 
they might draw up their forces to the best advantage ; and 
accordingly they divided their army into two bodies, one of 
which was commanded by the Count d'Abstain, and the 
governors of Fribourg and Zurich ; and the other by the 
chief magistrates of Berne. About noon, the two bodies 
began to march at once ; one towards the river, and the 
other along the high road leading to Nancy. The Duke of 
Burgundy, who had intelligence of their coming, had quitted 
his intrenchments, and drawn up his army in order of 
battle ready to receive them. In the front between him 
and one of the enemies' bodies there was a little brook 
and two strong hedges ; and on the high road, along 

VOL. II. C C 



386 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1477. 

which the other was marching to engage him, he had 
planted all his cannon and field-pieces ; and as soon as 
ever the Swiss came within bow-shot, the Burgundians 
discharged a whole volley of arrows, which did no execu- 
tion, upon which that body quitted the high road, and 
marched higher towards the wood, till they had gained an 
eminence opposite to the Duke of Burgundy's army. In 
the mean time, the Duke of Burgundy commanded his 
archers (who were all on foot) to face about; and at the 
same time ordered two squadrons of his men-at-arms, com- 
manded by James Galiot and M. de Lallain, to attack the 
enemy. As soon as the Swiss had gained the rising ground 
opposite to the Duke of Burgundy's army, they immediately 
faced about ; and marching up to him with all the fury 
and intrepidity imaginable, made such a terrible fire upon 
the body of foot that he commanded, that they entirely broke 
and defeated them. The other body of Swiss marched at 
the same time to engage the two squadrons commanded by 
James Galiot and M. de Lallain, whom they entirely routed 
at the first charge. Upon this, the right wing of the Bur- 
gundians, who had not yet been engaged, attacked the Swiss, 
by whom they were repulsed, and at last entirely defeated ; 
,«o that when the foot began to give ground and run away, the 
horse presently followed them, and endeavoured to make their 
escape by the bridge of Bridores, which was about a league 
from Nancy, in the way to Thionville and Luxembourg. 
But the Count di Campobasso having secured that pass by a 
good body of troops, and the Duke of Lorraine and his men 
following them close at the heels, vast numbers of them threw 
themselves or were driven into the river, where they were 
drowned ; and the rest were either killed or taken, very few 
or none making their escape ; so that there was a greater 
number killed in the rout than on the field of battle. 
Some of the Burgundians, finding they could not get over 
the bridge, retired to the woods in hopes of saving them- 
selves ; but they were pursued thither by the peasants of 
Jhe country, who killed them as fast as they could find 
them, so that for four leagues round, the fields and high- 
ways were strewed with the bodies of dead men. The 
pursuit lasted till two hours after night, and then the 
Duke of Lorraine began to inquire what waa become of 



1477.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 3S7 

the Duke of Burgundy, whether he had made his escape or 
was taken prisoner ; but nobody could give any account of 
him, and immediately the Duke of Lorraine despatched a 
certain person to one John Dias of the city of Metz, to know 
if he had passed through that place in his retreat, who sent 
his highness word the next morning that he had not ; that he 
was not at Luxembourg ; neither could any body tell what 
was become of him. On Monday, which was Twelfth-day, 
the Count di Campobasso met with a page that was taken pri- 
soner, belonging to the Count de Chalon, who was with the 
Duke of Burgundy in the battle. This lad, upon examina- 
tion, confessed the Duke of Burgundy was killed ; and the 
next day, upon diligent searching after him, they found him 
stripped stark naked, and the bodies of fourteen men more 
in the same condition, at some distance from each other. 
The duke was wounded in three places, and his body was 
known and distinguished from the rest by six particular 
marks ; the chiefest of which was, the want of his upper teeth 
before, which had been beaten out with a fall ; the second 
was a scar in his throat occasioned by the wound he re- 
ceived at the battle of Mont l'Hery ; the third was his great 
nails, which he always wore longer than any of his courtiers; 
the fourth was another scar upon his left shoulder ; the fifth 
was a fistula on his right groin, and the last was a nail that 
grew into his little toe. And upon seeing all these above- 
mentioned marks upon the body, his physician, the gentle- 
man of the bed-chamber, the Bastard of Burgundy, M. 
Oliver de la Marche, his chaplain, and several other officers 
that were taken prisoners by the Duke of Lorraine, unani- 
mously agreed it was the body of their lord and master the 
Duke of Burgundy. 

Immediately after the defeat and death of the Duke of 
Burgundy, the Duke of Lorraine and the rest of the generals 
of the army called a council of war, the result of which was, 
that a considerable body of forces should immediately be 
sent into the Duchy of Burgundy and other provinces, to 
reduce the towns that were garrisoned by Burgundian 
troops, to the king's obedience ; which was put in execution, 
and most of the towns surrendered without any opposition, 
as did likewise the country of Auxerre, the subjects of 
which touk the oath of allegiance to the king. 

3 



888 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1477, 

In June, the Prince of Orange, who had been highly 
affronted by M. de Craon, lieutenant-general of the king's 
army in Burgundy, was resolved to be revenged on him and 
the king also, who, it seems, had taken the government of a 
province from him, and given it to M. de Craon ; and there- 
fore, he persuaded all the countries, cities, towns, and other 
places, which before had submitted to the king at his re- 
quest, to revolt and rise up in rebellion against him. There 
was a Burgundian knight named M. Claude de Vaudray, 
that joined with the prince in this undertaking, and ma- 
naged the war with tolerable success against M. de Craon. 
But at last, M. de Craon having intelligence that the Prince 
of Orange was in a little town called Guy, marched im- 
mediately and besieged it, and about two days afier he had 
invested it, he received advice that M. Chasteauguyon was 
marching to relieve it, upon which he left a few troops 
before the town, to hinder the garrison from making any 
sally, and with the rest of the army, advanced to meet 
M. Chasteausuyon, the Prince of Orange's brother, whom he 
entirely routed and defeated ; and in this action, there were 
above one thousand four hundred persons of note and 
distinction killed on both sides ; and for this victory, the 
king ordered general processions to be made in the church 
of St. Martin in Paris. 

In July, 1477, the Duke of Guelders, with about fourteen 
or fifteen hundred Germans, came and encamped at Pont 
d'Epierre near Tournay, with a design to burn the suburbs 
of that place, upon which, the garrison of Tournay made 
two sallies ; in the first, the duke himself was slain, and 
in the last, the whole body of Germans and Flemings were 
entirely defeated, two thousand of them killed upon the spot, 
and seven hundred taken prisoners, for which, the king 
ordered Te Deum to be sung, and bonfires to be made in the 
streets of Pans. 

About the same time, the king, who was in Picardy, left 
that country ; having first made the Bastard of Bourbon, 
(who was Admiral of France,) his lieutenant-general, with 
whom he left a good body of forces to secure the country, 
and cover the frontiers of his kingdom. The king's troops 
tinder the Bastard of Bourbon's command were quartered in 
Arras, Tournay, la Bassee, and in several other towns upon 



I478.J THE SCAtfIiAL0U8 CHItONICLfe. 389 

the frontiers of Flanders, and in those countries that still 
held out for the Lady of Flanders, daughter to the late Duke 
of Burgundy. 

May, 1478. — All that the king did during this whole 
month in Picardy, was only taking a little town called Conde, 
which was still in the hands of the Burgundians, and which 
stood very incommodiously for the garrison of Tournay ', 
for all the convoys both of provisions and ammunition must 
of course pass by it. There happened to be some German 
troops belonging to the Duke of Austria in it, who at first 
Beemed resolved to stand a siege, but when they saw the 
prodigious army with which the king had invested it, they 
immediately surrendered the town upon honourable terms, 
as they did also the castle some time after. 

About this time the king, who was gone into Picarcly 
with a design to reduce all the countries, towns, and places 
that were in the possession of the late Duke of Burgundy at 
his decease, and which belonged to his majesty, had assem- 
bled the greatest army, and provided the largest train of 
artillery that ever was seen in France. He forebore entering 
upon any action for a long time, in hopes ol accommodating 
matters between him, the Flemings, and the Duke Maximi- 
lian of Austria, whom they acknowledged for their sovereign, 
to facilitate which the Duke of Austria sent ambassadors to 
Cambray and Arras to treat with the king about it, who 
talked mightily of surrendering up to the king the countries 
of Artois, Boulogne, Douay, Orchies, St. Omers, and other 
towns, besides the whole Duchy of Burgundy ; and upon the 
bare promises only of these ambassadors the king imprudently 
delivered up Cambray, Quesnoy, Bouchain, and several other 
towns. The Duke of Austria, upon the pretence of being 
near the king, and having the conveniency of frequent con- 
ferences, came and encamped with an army of twenty thou- 
sand men between Douay and Arras, where he amused the 
king with specious words and fair promises till the end of 
June ; and then, notwithstanding the king had so generously 
given up those towns to him, he openly declared he would 
not stand to the promises his ambassadors had made in his 
name, neither was that affair brought to any conclusion. 

In this month the king had better success in Upper Bur- 
gundy ; whither his majesty had sent a considerable body 

c c 3 



890 TUE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1479. 

of forces under the command of M. d'Amboise, governor of 
Champagne, to recover some troops that had revolted from 
him. M. d'Amboise was so fortunate, that in three weeks 
he retook Verdun, Monsauion, and Semur in Auxois, partly 
by storm and partly by composition. Afterwards he be- 
sieged Beaune, which also was surrendered to him upon 
certain articles, the chief of which were, that the inhabitants 
should pay forty thousand livres to preserve the town from 
being plundered ; that they should discharge all their debts 
that were owing to the merchants of Paris, and of other 
cities in the kingdom, and that the garrison should be al- 
lowed to march out with their bag and baggage, and be 
conducted to such a place mentioned in the articles. 

In July the king, who was at Arras, received two extra- 
ordinary embassies, one from Maximilian, Duke of Austria, 
and another from the Flemings ; and when the ambas- 
sadors had been heard by the king and his council, a cessa- 
tion of arms was agreed upon between the king, Duke 
Maximilian, and the Flemings, for one year, during which 
time there was to be a free intercourse of trade between the 
subjects of both princes. 

In April 1479, the king, who was in the county of Tou- 
raine, began to make preparations for the ensuing campaign, 
being resolved to push on the war with vigour as soon as 
the cessation of arms between him and the Duke of Austria, 
which was almost expired, was ended. Besides, the Duke of 
Austria had sent no ambassadors to him to treat of a pro- 
longation of the truce, and therefore his majesty might 
reasonably conclude that his intentions were to renew the 
war as soon as the treaty was expired. 

In May following (notwithstanding the truce was not ex- 
pired) the inhabitants of Cambray treacherously admitted 
the Flemings, Picardians, and other soldiers belonging to 
the Duke of Austria's army, into their city, which his 
majesty thought had been safe enough in the hands of so 
vigilant and loyal a governor as the Lord de Piennes. As 
soon as the Duke of Austria's forces were masters of the 
town, they drove the king's garrison out of the castle, and 
immediately after a detachment of three or four hundred 
Flemings and Picardians presented themselves before the 
town and castle of Bouchain, upon intelligence that the in* 



1480.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 391 

habitants would murder the king's garrison, and open their 
gates to them, which accordingly they did upon their first 
approach, and killed all the king's soldiers except one archer, 
who had the good luck to escape. The king was extremely 
incensed and provoked at this unfair and treacherous manner 
of proceeding, seeing his troops had not committed the least 
act of hostility, nor given them any occasion or pretence for 
violating the truce, and therefore he immediately sent a 
considerable body of the nobles and Frank archers of the 
kingdom, with a large train of artillery, under the command 
of the governor of Champagne, to reduce the towns and 
places in the duchy of Burgundy and Franche-Compte that 
had lately revolted from him, who was so very fortunate as 
to retake the strong castle of Rochefort by storm, which he 
plundered, and put all the garrison to the sword. From 
thence the governor of Champagne, who was also the king's 
lieutenant-general, marched with his army to Dole, which, 
upon their refusing to surrender, he immediately attacked, 
carried it by storm, plundered it, put all the inhabitants to 
the sword, and razed the city to the ground. 

On Saturday the third of July, 1479, the Bishop of 
Lombes, abbot of St. Denis in France, arrived at Paris 
as ambassador extraordinary from the King of Spain, and 
was met and complimented without the city gates by the 
mayor and aldermen, and all the persons of quality of that 
city, whom he afterwards nobly entertained at St. Denis. 
About the same time a young prince of the kingdom of 
Scotland, named the Duke of Albany, who had been driven 
out of the kingdom by the king his brother, arrived at 
Paris, where he was received with all the marks of honour 
and civility imaginable, and treated and entertained at the 
king's expense during his stay in France. 

In the year 1480, the Lord Howard, and several other 
ambassadors from England, arrived in France, to treat with 
the king about prolonging the truce that was concluded 
between him and the King of England. The king received 
the ambassadors very kindly, feasted and entertained them 
nobly, and made them considerable presents when they left 
France in order to return to England. 

During winter, and even till April (at which time the 
truce between the king and the Flemings was to expire) 

oc 4 



392 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1481. 

nothing was attempted on either side ; for the Flemings had 
sent ambassadors to the king at Tours to desire the cessation 
of arms might be continued a year longer, to which his 
majesty readily consented, in hopes some expedient or an- 
other might be found in all that time to settle an honourable 
and lasting peace between him and them, which would put 
an end to a war that had already been the occasion of 
spilling so much Christian blood. 

About the same time ambassadors from Edward IV., 
King of England, arrived in France, to treat with the king 
about the prolongation of the truce, and his majesty did 
them the favour to meet them at Chateau Regnault ; and, 
as soon as they had despatched the affair which they were 
sent to negotiate with the king, they returned into England, 
and afterwards the prolongation of the truce between the 
two kings was proclaimed by sound of trumpet at Paris. 
Some time after this the king fell very ill at Plessis du Pare, 
near Tours, and his physicians were of opinion that his 
majesty was in a dangerous condition, but in a little time he 
grew better, and in less than a month was perfectly re- 
covered of his illness. 

In the year 1481, notwithstanding the cessation of arms, 
the king's troops in the garrison towns upon the frontiers of 
Picardy committed several hostilities, and had frequent skir- 
mishes with the Duke of Austria's men, and all the prisoners 
that were taken on both sides were immediately hanged, 
without permitting any, of what degree or rank soever, to 
be ransomed. 

About the same time the king, who had been very ill at 
Tours, removed to Thouars, where his majesty grew worse, 
and his physicians were of opinion he was in a dangerous 
condition, whereupon he made several large offerings and 
gifts to abundance of churches in the kingdom, in hopes to 
recover his health by these pious acts of charity and de- 
votion. In his sickness he made a vow to go a pilgrimage 
to St. Claude, which he accordingly performed as soon as 
he recovered strength enough to undertake the journey. 
Before he left the county of Touraine, he went to see the 
dauphin, whom he had scarce ever seen before, and when 
he took his leave of him he gave him his blessing, and 
having committed him to the care and tuition of the Lord 



1482.] THE SCANDALOUS CHKONICLE. 393 

Peter de Bourbon, whom he had made his lieutenant-general, 
he commanded him to obey that lord, and be ruled by him 
in everything till his return. 

In the year 1482, on Thursday, the 4th of May, between 
four and five in the morning,, died the most noble and illus- 
trious Princess Joan of France, wife to John Duke of 
Bourbon and Auvergne, in the castle of Moulins, in Bour- 
bonnois, of a violent fever, and was buried at the church of 
Notre Dame, at Moulins. She was a lady of great wisdom 
and piety, and was extremely lamented by the duke, her 
husband, her servants, and all the people of France, upon 
account of the many extraordinary virtues and amiable per- 
fections she was endowed with. 

In the same year, about October, the king fell violently 
ill, and thought he should have died at Plessis du Pare, 
near Tours ; and, therefore, as soon as his majesty had re- 
covered a little strength, he went to Amboise, where he 
made several long remonstrances to the dauphin in behalf 
of his servants and officers of his household and kingdom, 
exhorting and desiring him to be kind to all of them, but 
especially to Monsieur Oliver, his barber, and M. John de 
Doyae, governor of Auvergne, who had done him many 
considerable services, and always been very loyal and faith- 
ful subjects. He also recommended the Lord de Boucliage 
and the Lord Guyotpot, bailiff of Vermandois, as being very 
wise and able counsellors, and desired the dauphin to make 
use of their advice in all state affairs. Moreover, he en- 
treated him to continue all the officers in their posts and 
employments, and to have a tender regard to his people, 
whom he had already too much harassed and oppressed. 
Lastly, he recommended the Lord des Querdes for military 
affairs, as being an officer of great valour and conduct, and 
the fittest person to make a general of any in the kingdom 
of France. After this, the king returned to Montils, near 
Tours. 

In October and November several ambassadors arrived 
from Flanders to treat of a peace between his majesty and 
the Flemings, which At last was concluded to the great joy 
and satisfaction of both parties, by a marriage between the 
dauphin of France and the Duke of Austria's daughter, 
iv(v\ which the king immediately or^red. Te Deum to 



394 THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. [1483. 

be sung, and bonfires to be made in the public streets of 
Tours. 

In January, 1483, the ambassadors that had concluded the 
peace between the king and the Flemings upon the mar- 
riage between the dauphin and the Countess of Flanders, 
daughter to the Duke of Austria, arrived at Paris, and were 
met and complimented in the king's name by the Bishop of 
Marseilles, the mayor and aldermen of the city, and several 
other persons of quality, who nobly feasted and entertained 
them, and the next day they set out from thence to wait on 
the king at Amboise, who received them very kindly, as did 
also the dauphin ; and upon their taking leave of the king, 
his majesty presented them with thirty thousand crowns, 
and afterwards they returned to Paris, where the articles of 
peace were ratified and confirmed in the court of parlia- 
ment, and afterwards read, and published by sound of 
trumpet in all the public streets of that city ; and as soon 
as the publication was over, Monsieur le Picard, bailiff of 
Rouen, treated the ambassadors and all the king's officers 
with a splendid and magnificent dinner. 

On Saturday, the 19th of April, 1483, the Lord de 
Beaujeu and his lady came to Paris, in order to go into 
Picardy to meet and compliment the dauphiness, whom, by 
the treaty of peace, the Flemings were to deliver to the 
Lord de Beaujeu, who was to conduct her to Paris. 

In April, Edward IV., King of England, died of an apo- 
plexy, though some say it was of a surfeit, occasioned by 
drinking too much of some rich wines that the king had 
made him a present of; however, he lived long enough to 
settle the affairs of his kingdom, and to leave the succession 
of the crown to his eldest son, Edward V. 

On Monday, the 2d of June, the dauphiness, accompanied 
by Madame de Beaujeu, the Admiral of France's lady, and 
several other ladies of quality, made her public entry into 
Paris about five in the afternoon, and all the streets through 
which the dauphiness passed were lined with soldiers, hung 
with tapestry, and crowded with persons of quality, richly 
dressed, who came thither on purpose to compliment and pay 
their respects to her ; and in honour to the day of her ar- 
rival, all the prisoners in Paris were immediately set at 
liberty. 



1483.] THE SCANDALOUS CHRONICLE. 395 

In July, the nuptial ceremony between the dauphin and 
the Lady Margaret of Austria was performed with great 
pomp and solemnity at Amboise, at which all the nobility 
and chief persons of the kingdom were present. 

On Monday, the 25th of August, the king fell very ill at 
Montils, near Tours, and in two hours' time lost his speech 
and his senses, and the news of his death came to Paris on 
Wednesday, the 27th of the same month ; upon which the 
mayor and aldermen ordered the city gates to be shut up, 
and a strong guard to be placed at each of them, that none 
might go out or in without being examined, which made 
the common people cry out that the king was dead ; but it 
was a false alarm, for his majesty was only in a fit, out of 
which he presently re